It seems the media has been trying to predict Cider's comeback for a handful of years now. I think good honest traditional craft cider is just starting to get it's legs now.
Recently I've seen 2 different newspaper stories, one from the Seattle Times and one from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on a pair of craft cider makers located on Canada's Vancouver Island. Lucky for me they are just a few hours North of where I live. Vancouver Island is a picturesque locale and possesses a near perfect climate and micro-climates for terrific cider apple growing.
For those following my personal cider adventures during Cider School we were able to participate in a whirlwind day long tour of both places.
Having recently just celebrated it's 1st anniversary, Sea Cider's facility is a gorgeous revamped Barn. Sea Cider has small but efficient orchard of cider apples organically grown on espalier (trellaced like wine grapes). Just beyond the orchard on the horizon is surreal view of Haro Straight. They have a terrific stories of old time Rum Running that occured across this very straight during Prohibition. These stories inspired one of their more popular ciders "Rum Runner" which unfortunately for me just so happened to be sold out during my last visit. I'm anxiously awaiting a taste of that. We engaged in serious tasting during our visit and all of Sea Cider's ciders are seriously delectable. One of my new favorites. You gotta check these guys out!
Merridale Estate Cider
Merridale has created a terrific destination cidery and orchard nestled up in their own little corner of Mill Bay right off the Trans Canada Highway on Vancouver Island. Merridale is on the Vancouver Island Wine Route and features a classy tasting room, first rate Bistro and even Brick Oven Bakery. Merridale has a nice selection of cider varieties and is becoming a popular location for weddings and private events. A self guided tour of their orchard and facility is available using a series of informative signage. An enjoyable and educational stop for any cider lover.
EDIT: I want to thank the owners of Sea Cider and Merridale for showing the cider class around last June. It was really great to check out both of their operations. They were vastly different but in their own unique ways they have raised the bar by turning cider production facilities into a cider destinations, all the while uplifting the craft cider industry by providing an unforgettable cider experience. Thanks guys!
This is good press for cider. No pun intended. Now if we could just get the writers and corporate media to referencing the now cliche "Cider House Rules" in their article titles. It isn't cute anymore.
Thats all I have... you can check out the real articles now.