Best apple cider from the Sea Cider Farm
Admittedly, I hadn't thought much about cider before visiting the Sea Cider Farm in Saanichton north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Every now and then I have a glass because it quenches my thirst so well. But I didn't know much more about it beforehand. That turned out to be ours Enjoyment trip through Vancouver Island changed. The best cider on Vancouver Island comes from the Heritage apples that Sea Cider uses to make its wine.
Cider tasting on the Sea Cider Farm
I was amazed when I entered the Sea Cider Farm tasting room. This is reminiscent of tasting halls in Andalusian wineries. With large tables around which chairs are grouped. A candlestick the size of a wagon wheel, hanging over wooden tables and chairs with dark wooden panels that adorn the walls of the room. The view inevitably wanders through the glass doors to the apple grove with its apple trees, through which one has a view of the Straight of Georgia.
We are registered and there will soon be glasses on the table with cider samples. In colors from light yellow to gold, the apple wine varieties shine in the light of the spring sun. Some milky cloudy. The others are bright and clear, and finally the bubbly apple wines, in which the carbonic acid bubbles up in the glass.
Best Canadian cider made from Heritage apples
When we try it, we learn that the cider at Sea Cider is made exclusively from old apple varieties. The owners of the farm travel to the apple-growing regions of the world and bring the apple varieties with them from there. There are now hundreds of them on her farm near Saanichton, and Sea Cider grows sixty kinds of apples. They only use older varieties from the orchard cultivation. These are not suitable for consumption because they are far too acidic. However, they are perfect for making cider. Modern apple varieties contain too much fructose. Heritage apples, on the other hand, are perfect for cider production.
As soon as the apples are ripe, they are shredded into pommage. This apple pulp is pressed in a cider mill between millstones. The pulp then goes into the cider press. Several layers are layered on top of each other, separated by straw or gauze. Then you press the whole thing until the must is squeezed out of the pommage. The waste is fed to the cattle or used as compost.
The must is then placed in metal barrels. It ferments in it at a temperature between 4 and 16 ° Celsius. Shortly before the sugar content of the must has fermented, the cider is poured into new barrels. The taste of the cider develops depending on the origin of the barrels. Sea Cider's most popular type of cider, the Rumrunner, is left to ferment in rum barrels - how can it be otherwise. It takes on a dark brown color. At the same time it develops a taste that is slightly reminiscent of rum. But there are other varieties too. These differ in terms of production, color and taste.
After a maturation period of between three months and three years, the cider is bottled and sold.
Best cider at Sea Cider on Vancouver Island
We test the differences between the cider types in our cider tasting. They are bigger than expected. From light, dry and light cider varieties to thick and sweet apple wine to the almost liqueur-like Rumrunner, everything is included. My husband and I like the Rumrunner best. We are not alone in this. This type of cider has already won several awards. It was crowned the best drink at the 16th Okanagan Fest-of-Ale. Georgia Straight magazine also named it the best cider in the region. Rightly so, as we think.
A visit to the Sea Cider Farm fits well with a tour from Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island. It is just a few hundred meters away from the main traffic route between the Swartz Bay ferry station and Victoria city center. A detour there can also be combined with a trip to the Butchart Gardens. These are also only a few minutes away. But you should take the cider supply for the evening on the hotel terrace. After all, some of the cider types 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 at Wine tourism - wine regions.
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Source: own research on site for “Best 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