Anna and Jack Relvas,

who opened Faustino Estate Cidery in Osoyoos in 2015, produce seven different dry and semi- sweet apple and fruit- added ciders.

“Our Apple Quince is a top seller. I don’t believe anyone else in B.C. is making a similar product.” Anna said.

Danielle and Mike Petkau of Nomad.

Only dessert apples are used in Faustino cider, because the couple wanted to use the fruit from their established orchard to increase the sustainability of the farm.

Anna and Jack have found that some consumers

Lauren Wilson and Ted Vollo of Summerland Heritage.

prefer what she describes as “a crisper, clean cider made from desserts apples versus the traditional ciders made from strictly cider apples.”

Anna Relvas of Faustino.

exploring the world of cider. “We stylistically represent cider regions from around the world by using cider specific cultivars, wild yeast and time-honoured wine and cider making techniques,” Mike Petkau said. Petkau, his wife Danielle and another couple own Nomad.

In addition to more traditional ciders, Nomad customers can choose from a Spanish style Sidra cider, a French style keeved cider, a Quebec inspired ice cider and ciders aged in bourbon and Pinot Noir barrels.

Nomad also sets itself apart by having the largest barrel fermentation and aging program of all Western Canadian cideries.

The Duriseks have introduced their Makers Series, which includes seven ciders aged with a botanical and sweetened by the addition of fruit juice. “Lavender Plum was our first release of the year. It’s a fragrant floral cider made with an infusion of Italian plums and English lavender,” Kate said.

However, Anna recognizes that while Faustino’s has found its niche in the market, demand is greater for cider apple varietals or a blend of cider and dessert apples.

Twisted Hill’s eight

different ciders — three 100 per cent apple and the others blended with different fruits—are all certified organic. “I don’t think being certified organic gives us an ‘edge’ in the market, but it gives us a sense of satisfaction,” Madeira said.

She and Schneider, a fifth-generation Cawston orchardist, use fruit from their 12-year old English and French heritage cider varieties and well-established dessert varieties.

Faustino cider is also made from mature trees as is cider bearing the Summerland Heritage label. “Ron, Bob and Tom spent the last 12 years figuring out what cider apples work best in our climate and what gives the best tasting cider,” said Ted Vollo, referring to his father Ron and fellow orchardists Bob Thompson and Tom Kinvig.

In 2016, Ted and partner Lauren Wilson took over the cidery.

The other three cideries that purchase apples grown in established orchards

are planting their own cider varieties. “We’ve planted close to 30 different varieties. We want to find the best for our area,” Nik Durisek said. “Branding is critical to getting customers to pick your product off the shelf. Sometimes it seems like we spend almost as much time working on our label design, layout, imagery and copywriting as we do making cider!” said Harris.

Staying true to heritage and family roots, Vollo and Wilson developed a logo for Summerland Heritage cider which includes relevant historical photographs. They’ve also introduced 500-ml bottles for all six blends of cider. “Our sales in liquor stores have rebounded and significantly expanded since we introduced new labels and smaller bottles,” Vollo said. Howling Moon’s image is all about letting go of your inhibitions, throwing back your head and releasing a primal call of the wild.

“Simply put—We’re fun!” Nik said. Tasting rooms, farmers’ markets, in- store demonstrations and tastings, and representatives promoting sales in other geographic regions are all vehicles craft cideries use to varying degrees. “We don’t have any sales agents; we do all our own sales. We believe most people are seeking to be educated on what true craft cider is,” Petkau said. Nomad’s cider is sold primarily in private liquor stores and restaurants. Twisted Hills is currently building a geodesic dome, the Cider Dome, to attract even more tourists. Exciting developments await the craft cider industry, including the likely development of cider terroirs.

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2018 11

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