Admittedly, I had not thought much about cider before I visited Sea Cider Farm in Saanichton north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. From time to time I drink a glass because it quenches the thirst so well. But I did not know much more about it before.
Cider tasting on the Sea Cider Farm
All the more astonished was when I entered the tasting room of the Sea Cider Farm: it reminds a little of tasting halls in Andalusian wineries - with large tables around which chairs are grouped, a wagon - sized chandelier over heavy wooden tables and decorative chairs with dark wooden panels, the Decorate walls of the hall. The eye will inevitably pass through the large glass doors to the apple orchard with its low apple trees, with unobstructed views of the Straight of Georgia, the ocean road that separates Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia.
We are registered and soon a whole range of different cider samples will be ready for us on the table. The cider varieties glow in a variety of colors in the light of the spring sun, one milky, the others bright and clear, and finally the sparkling ciders, in which the carbon dioxide in the glass bubbles up.
Best apple cider from Canada from old apple varieties
When tasting the different varieties, we learn that the cider in Sea Cider is made exclusively from old apple varieties. The owners of the farm travel to the apple growing areas of the world and bring from there the most diverse apple varieties. Hundreds of them now stand on their farm near Saanichton, and Sea Cider breeds sixty different sorts of apples. They use only older strains that are not suitable for direct consumption, because they are too sour. For cider production, however, these are perfect, the modern apple varieties contain too much fructose.
Once the apples are ripe, they are shredded to pommage. This apple porridge is compressed in a cider mill between millstones. Subsequently, the pulp enters the cider press, where several layers are stacked separately by straw or gauze. And then the whole thing is squeezed until all the must is pushed out of the pommage. The waste is fed to livestock or used as compost.
The must comes in metal barrels, where it is fermented at a temperature between 4 and 16 ° Celsius. Shortly before the entire sugar content of the must is fermented, the cider is transferred to new barrels. And depending on the origin of the barrels, the taste is now influenced. Sea Cider's most popular cider variety, the rumrunner, is - as it may be otherwise - fermented in former barrels and thus takes on a beautiful dark brown color and a taste reminiscent of rum. But there are other varieties that differ in production, color and taste.
After a maturation period that varies between three months and three years, the cider is bottled and sold.
Best cider at Sea Cider on Vancouver Island
The taste differences of the different cider varieties are tested in our cider sample: and they are bigger than expected. From very light, dry and bright ciders to thick and sweet apple ciders and almost liqueur-like Rumrunner, everything is there. The Rumrunner tastes best for my husband and me - and we are not alone here: this cider has already won some prizes - at the 16. Okanagan Fest-of-Ale was voted the best drink and Georgia Straight magazine named it the best cider in the region. Rightly, as we think.
A visit to the Sea Cider Farm is well suited for a Vancouver-to-Vancouver tour of Vancouver Island, just a few hundred meters off the mainline link between the Swartz Bay ferry terminal and Victoria city center. A trip there can also be well combined with a trip to the Butchart Gardens, which are also just minutes away. Only one should take the larger cider stock for the evening on the hotel terrace, because some of the cider varieties have an alcohol content of up to 17 percent.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse
2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd.
Saanichton, BC V8M 1T7
Phone (250) 544-4824
Tips on wine and drinks can be found in Wine tourism - Wine Regions.
Source: own on-site research for "Best Apple Cider from Canada" with the kind support of Tourism British Columbia and Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. She has been a tour guide on four continents for 17 years and has accompanied high-class trips through North and Central America, Australia, southern Africa and Europe. Since 2001 she has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline and writes as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT Online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, Expedia, travador, etc. She also writes travel guides about destinations and enjoyment destinations all over the world. Your guide about Canada's east was released in 2020. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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