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

Summerland golfers compete

Season begins for local golf leagues

Easter Fun Day packs ‘em in for Penticton child and youth development centre

It’s expected record numbers of people turned up for the ninth annual Easter Fun Day

Summerland Kiwanis Club provides support to local organizations

Cheques presented to organizations from Summerland and region

Penticton Speedway revved up to celebrate 50 years

The season will see go-carts and new races in part of its 50th anniversary

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

Pacific Poke bowl lovers can get a free taste at the restaurant’s ‘Grand Opening Event’

The restaurant will offer some of its specials Thursday evening at its Kelowna location

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Okanagan resort seeking connnection to rail trail

Predator Ridge Resort slated to present wish for trail from resort to ORT to Vernon council

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Okanagan power outage scuttles – but not ruins – city’s mission’s Easter meals

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later due to downtown power outage

Waterway Houseboats wins $2 million for damages caused in 2012 flood

Houseboat company wins lawsuit involving Province of British Columbia, District of Sicamous

Most Read