Tom Kinvig shows a bottle of cider from the Summerland Heritage Cider Company. The cider uses traditional cider apples. Several Summerland orchardists are behind the new cider business.

Apple growers turn to cider

After years of enjoying homemade apple cider among themselves, several Summerland orchardists are now marketing their product commercially.

After years of enjoying homemade apple cider among themselves, several Summerland orchardists are now marketing their product commercially.

Tom Kinvig of Summerland Heritage Cider Company said he and some fellow orchardists have been making cider together for 10 to 15 years, gathering for a glass every Tuesday.

At the time, Kinvig used a cider recipe he had found as a way to use some of the apples from his orchard.

Over time, as he and the other fruit growers continued their Tuesday meetings, they looked at ways to make a better apple cider.

“It wasn’t always the best stuff,” said cider maker Bob Thompson. “We thought there had to be a better way.”

Four or five years ago, Thompson took a course in cider making in Washington State.

The orchardists also started growing apple varieties designed for cider.

These varieties, including Michelin, Kingston, Black and others, are not grown for eating. Instead, they are European varieties, some of them more than 150 years old.

“The old way of doing things is still the best way of doing things,” Thompson said.

While it is possible to make cider from any apple variety, he believes the quality of his cider is superior because of the apples used.

“We think we make a cider unlike anything else in the valley,” he said. “It’s a far more complex product than you can get from Galas and Golden Delicious and Macintosh.”

The apples have a bittersweet and bittersharp taste and contain a high tannin level.

At present, they have planted a little more than one hectare in cider apples. Much of this land is not yet in production.

Thompson said the cider, with 7.7 per cent alcohol, is not just fermented apple juice. Instead, it is closer to wine and the cider company operates under a winery license.

“We want to reinvent cider in this part of the country,” Thompson said. “We want to give people what the apple gives to us.”

While cider production is not yet common in the Okanagan, it is growing in Washington and Oregon.

The Summerland Heritage Cider Company will soon have a website in place at summerlandcider.com. The company also has a page on Facebook.com.

 

Just Posted

Open houses regarding transit between Penticton and Kelowna

The meetings will be held in Summerland, Princeton, Penticton, Peachland and Osoyoos on Dec. 4 and 5

Third fatality in 24 hours on South Okanagan roads

A vehicle incident closed Highway 3 for five hours Monday night

CONTEST: New year, new you

KimXO has partnered with Black Press Media and Third Space for a brand new contest

Summerland couple donates $30,000 to hospital campaign

Donation will go to medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

South Okanagan Similkameen leading in referendum ballot returns

Pro Rep group offering Nov. 22 information session

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read