Producers of Premium Distilled Spirits

Nestled in the breathtaking Blue Hill Mountains of Southwestern Virginia–just a bit more than a stone’s throw from the Kentucky border, we produce handcrafted fine American spirits. We bottle under our own brands for local retail, and produce bulk-barreled whiskeys for wholesale.


Our Spirits

The art of handcrafting fine American spirits does not come easily. It requires patience, dedication, and respect for the long and colorful heritage of whiskey making. Our distillery was founded on these principles and we work tirelessly to uphold them. The result is unsurpassed quality and character in all of our spirit products.

Appalachian Moon™

Our 90-proof Original Recipe Appalachian Moon™ moonshine is what we built our distillery around.  Our fruit flavored ‘shines are local favorites and worth visiting our tasting room at the distillery in Rural Retreat to experience!

Our Whiskeys

Pure mountain limestone water, local farm sourced grains that we meticulously select, are critical to the slow, deliberate small-batch distillation process. We use pot stills and only the best white whiskey (no heads or tails) goes into new charred barrels. 

Virginia Frost Vodka

Virginia Frost provides a smooth and rich vodka flavor, made from the finest locally-grown grains, using pure mountain spring water. There’s nothing that compares with winter’s first frost, this vodka strives to provide that feeling with every pour. 

Wholesale Whiskey

We sell barrels of premium high quality whiskeys in the industry’s first below market, fixed price program that includes 3 years of aging in our warehouse and all of the management, handling and storage services required to mature to finish.

Owen Cox | Virginia Mountain Gold Whiskey

Virginia Mountain Gold is a noble and gentle spirit with unsurpassed character and supreme softness. It is handcrafted in small batches from a wheat-forward bourbon mash in the time-honored tradition of America’s great whiskeys. The secret is in the wheat.

Owen Cox | Heritage Bourbon

Owen Cox Heritage Bourbon is crafted with love and care from locally sourced ingredients. We achieve its intense, intriguing flavor and exceptional smoothness by honoring the heritage and traditions of America’s finest spirits – but with our own unique touch.

Owen Cox | Mountain Maple

We blend a splash of pure Virginia mountain maple syrup with our fine handcrafted small batch bourbon mash whiskey. The result is a spicy and smoky taste and experience that’s like a sweet morning in a Virginia forest. You will it, share it and make it your own.

Samuel Franklin Whiskey

Our wonderfully smooth and consistently complex Samuel Franklin whiskey is the result of our Solera aging process. Oak barrels in three vertical tiers are filled with whiskey. After one year, half of the contents of the bottom barrels are removed, bottled and replaced with aged whiskey from the barrels above, which are then topped off with half of the contents of the top barrels. New whiskey is added only to the top barrels. This cascading continues and only the oldest whiskey from the bottom barrels, or Solera, is bottled. The whiskey in this bottle is aged for a minimum of one year.

Rusty and Ruth Rhea Cox invite you to visit their Rural Retreat distillery, in Davis Valley, Virginia.

What it takes to make a consistently great product.

In late 2000, Rusty Cox, a life-long Virginia resident, began planting vineyards and when the first grapes were harvested Rusty, along with his wife Ruth Rhea, began making wines. Many of their wines, including a revered Davis Valley Cab Franc, became award winners. 

In 2013, he began converting one side of his large winery to a distillery to make moonshine, vodka, bourbon and other whiskeys.

Today, his spirits have earned awards, his whiskeys been judged delicious and of among the highest quality.


Rusty's Promise

I got into the Distillery business to help our business grow and I felt like it was something we could do since we were great fermentors and we grew up in the Moonshine belt. The Appalachian Mountains where we grew up, Moonshine was understood and most people drink the product, whether it tasted like gasoline or not.  I knew if we tried we could make good Red Liquor.

 scrutinizing the horizon

We run this business as a business and we put it all back, to build a bigger business.
In my business career I was always the guy who built business’s for other people and they liked my position, and I never failed to grow many business’s and we always sold them at a profit. So I decided to do the same for ourselves and the business is going in the right direction.
Our Bourbon is superior to all of the other Bourbons that are made today because:
We use Pot Stills and never use the heads and tails, most other supplier’s use a continuous still where you never know what you are getting and where it cuts off.
The well water we use is limestone and the phrase is, if you have liquor water, your liquor is always superior.
We work seven days a week to check and make sure the barrel house as well as production is on track. A lot of business’s don’t like the seven day a week schedule but we want all our products to be great and sometimes it does demand extra time we spend on working.
-Rusty Cox




We’re getting ready to celebrate summer with a series of distillery events.


Distillery Tasting Room and ABC Store Hours 
Monday – Friday: 08.30 a.m. – 04.30 p.m. 
Saturday: 09.00 a.m – 04.00 p.m.

Sunday: Closed


Rusty says...

“When you visit our beautiful mountains, come see us. If you’re just passing by on Interstate 81, be sure to look for Exit #54 (Groseclose Exit) and drop in. And if you plan to sample our spirits and wines, be sure you bring a designated driver!”

Visit us:             1167 Davis Valley Rd, Rural Retreat, VA 24368

Call Us:             803 465 3865

You’re invited to visit us in beautiful Davis Valley in the heart of Southwestern Virginia. For points of reference, we’re about 80 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia and about 65 miles northwest of the Virginia/Tennessee Tri-Cities of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. We’re 1.5 miles (about four minutes) from Interstate 81’s Exit #54 (Groseclose Exit), so we’re easy to find.

Drop us a line or ask a question