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 The company also has a page on


Just Posted

Summerland Museum sorts through acquisitions

Staff working to examine many items in museum’s collection

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Fire department supports students

Money raised through annual holiday tree chipping project

Construction to begin at school site

New private school in Summerland to open this fall

Nature Wise: Nature photography contest opens soon

South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club nature photo contest open residents of the RDOS

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

Most Read