Using apples from old, low nitrogen, full-standard fruit trees and fermenting in the ambient temperatures of winter allows us to do natural fermentation, rather than eliminating the wild yeasts with sulfites and pitching commercial ale or wine yeasts in their place (as is the industry standard in North America).
When done cleanly and at cool, stable temperatures, fermenting with the natural yeasts found on the apples’ skins and around the cider mill results in ciders with a wider range of flavours and aromas, as it allows the delicate apiculate yeasts to do their work, giving added complexity to the cider’s flavour profile. While it tends to be a riskier method of fermentation, in our opinion it is the best way to preserve and convey the apples’ terroir.
We make cider with the seasons: picking, sweating and pressing apples through the fall and fermenting, blending and maturing the cider through the winter. All of our batches are aged for at least six months.
Current batches (pressed in the fall of 2016):
Old Growth Dry
Crafted entirely from Gulf Islands apples, this batch brings together over a dozen heirloom varieties found on Pender & Mayne Island, celebrating the depth of flavour pulled up out of the soil by the old apple trees we harvest. A dry, aromatic cider that blends the delicate fragrance of early season apples with the sharp acidity of the late, offering notes of orange peel and dried apricot.
Old Growth Off-Dry
Our Old Growth blend with a touch a sweetness to lift the green apple skin notes and soften the finish.
Baldwin + Pippin
Merging the Baldwin apple’s well-rounded character with the earthy aromatics of Ribston Pippin, this batch highlights two heirloom varieties that have been staples in cider making history. These apples were picked and shaken from trees nearing 100 years old, growing on Pender Island. A lightly carbonated, dry cider with moderate acidity and honeyed notes.
The Odd Pear (Sold out)
The Odd Pear is a small batch, wild fermented blend of Louis Bon de Jersey pears from Old Orchard Farm on Pender and apples from Burnfoot - The Grove on Mayne Island. The pomace was macerated, layered in straw, pressed in a wooden basket press and aged in the cidery cellar for seven months.
Old Orchard Trinity (Sold out)
A very small batch of quince, pears and apples harvested from Old Orchard Farm. Picked, pressed and fermented together, and aged for eight months. The perfume of the quince gives this cider its beautiful aromas, and the pears' residual sweetness balances its zesty, orange-peel bitterness. Apples thrown in for good measure.
Perry Pyraster (Sold out)
Tannic wild seedling pears blended with Louis Bon de Jersey pears, pressed through straw and allowed to go through malolactic fermentation to create an amazingly complex, European-style perry. Garden rose aromas layered with barnyard funk, with a pleasant sweetness to balance the astringent finish. Bottle conditioned.
Draught-only blend: Boat Days
An off-dry blend of apples harvested from trees on Pender, Mayne and Samuel Island, as well as Vancouver Island and Worrenberg Farms in Keremeos. A partial wild fermented cider aged 6 months in our cellar, this batch celebrates the many days we and our off-island growers spent in fishing boats and ferry boats bringing crates of apples to our cider mill on Pender Island.