Published: November 19th 2009November 14th 2009
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse is a ciderhouse located 20 minutes east of Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C. that produces organic cider using historic apples, some of which are grown on their property. They have a stunning tasting room where they offer tastings of their ciders paired with local artisans’ breads, meats, spread, cheeses and chocolates. The service and atmosphere add to the quality of their products and provides a very unique experience.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse was established in 2004 by Kristen and Bruce Jordan. Both had a passion for cider and saw a real opportunity in the lack of quality in the cider industry today. They currently have a young orchard with over 1000 apple trees and it remains today a family run business with their residence on the property (seacider.ca).
Our first glance at the property offered a very beautiful and quaint farm overlooking the ocean, with a young orchard surrounded by forest. The tasting room is located on the second floor above the production area with a large veranda offering views of the entire property and onward to the Strait of Georgia. The tasting room itself featured a large bar and cash
registry area surrounded by long, dark-stained, rustic wooden tables, made of lumber farmed from the trees on the property. The tasting room has large windows bringing in light and colour from the forest and orchard, with light coloured walls and dark accents, featuring antique thrown-type chairs in the corners of the room, dark shelves and a towering, natural-wood vaulted ceiling.
Our visit to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse took place on October 24th were we tasted 8 different ciders and a cocktail while enjoying a tasting platter of local artisan foods. A tasting of 8 ciders and a cocktail was $15CAD and the food platter was $16CAD. Between the four of us we shared two tastings and two platters which was more than sufficient to provide a generous taste of each of the ciders and artisan foods.
As our visit was in the early afternoon in the fall we enjoyed the sun out on the veranda.
Our service was very quick, efficient and personable. Our server told us of the history of cider on Vancouver Island and of Sea Cider’s inception and growth. She discussed each of the ciders unique stories and descriptions, supplying
All eight ciders and the cocktail in various states of completition
us with pairing examples and personal preferences. Our personal favorite was Pippins as it was light and slightly sweet.
The food platter contained salmon, salami, two different cheeses, salt and pepper chocolate, blackberry spread, apple spread and a carrot and pepper spread with artisan bread. The foods paired well with the different types of cider and allowed you to widen your palate to different mixtures and blends.
After enjoying our ciders and platter we embarked on a tour with a Production Manager, accompanied by Leo, the ciderhouse lab who brought us apples to throw for him. We were walked through the process from delivery to bottling, with an in-depth explanation regarding the chemical processes involved in determining the sugar levels and blends for each cider. He also explained the future growth and expansion that Sea Cider will undergo in order to keep up with growing demand.
Sea Cider is an excellent example of a culinary tourism product available on Vancouver Island. It offers a unique product, taste of place, an exceptional story, personable delivery and a great selection of take home products. Sea Cider differentiates its products apart from the plethora of wineries on
Great quality and portions for $16
Vancouver Island. It allows you to experience a different product that provides a unique taste of place. With the reintroduction of heritage apples and unique historic blends, Sea Cider provides a one of a kind cider experience. Sea Cider staff also are very knowledgeable about the story not only behind Sea Cider but also the history of cider on Vancouver Island. This adds to the delivery of Sea Cider's product as you are able to learn about the product while experiencing friendly service. Sea Cider's pantry allows for a wide selection of take home products that are of very high quality and at a very reasonable price. When you purchase a Sea Cider product you truly feel that you are contributing to artisan production and that you are apart of something genuine and authentic.
The eight ciders currently in production are:
"Flagship is one of only a few commercial ciders in the world free of added sulphites. Slowly fermented with Champagne yeast, this German-style ultra dry still cider offers a nose of anise and cinnamon framed by soft tannins and lively acidity" (seacider.ca).
"Wild English derives its name from a wild
yeast fermentation of certified organic English bittersweet cider apples. This sparkling amber cider is ultra dry, robust and earthy, with distinctive tannins in the traditional Herefordshire style" (seacider.ca).
King’s and Spies
"Kings & Spies is crafted from a blend of local heritage apples - primarily Kings and Northern Spies - yielding a fruit-forward, Italian-style sparkling cider. Proceeds from this cider support Lifecycles, a Victoria organization that promotes local food security" (seacider.ca).
"Newton Pippin apples give structure to this crisp and aromatic dry sparkling cider. Blended with Island grown apples such as Winter Bananas and Sunsets, the result is an aromatic medley of pineapple and fresh fruit notes" (seacider.ca).
"Rumrunner is crafted with home-grown heritage apples including Winter Bananas and Winesaps. The apples were hand pressed using our traditional rack and cloth press, slowly fermented with Champagne yeast then aged in rum barrels. Notes of brown sugar and spice give complexity to this semi-dry sparkling cider" (seacider.ca).
"Quality cider comes from quality ingredients. Our Cyser is crafted from our farm-pressed cider apples blended with fermented organic honey. The result is a still, aperitif-style cider possessing subtle flavours of butter, honey
Graeme, Sara, Andie & Emily
After enjoying our cider and platter
and citrus" (seacider.ca).
"Pommeau is a still aperitif-style cider crafted by slowly fermenting hand-pressed Snow apples, whose Normandy origins date to the 1600’s. Potent yet refined, Pommeau provides a velvety mouthfeel and a rich smoky nose of apple, spices and carmelized sugar" (seacider.ca).
"Pomona is inspired by the Roman Goddess of Apples. This still cider is a concentrated elixir hand crafted by freezing then slowly fermenting crabapple juice at cool temperatures, yielding a dessert-style cider with citrus and confectionary notes" (seacider.ca).
Each bottle runs from $15CAD to $25 to purchase on the property. Other farm products are available for sale in their pantry including jams, honeys, spreads, chocolates and other seasonal items. Currently Sea Cider is able to accommodate groups up to 24 on regular days and are able to accommodate special requests and some functions.
For more information please visit www.seacider.ca or check it out yourself while visiting Vancouver Island at 2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd., Saanichton, BC
There are more photos below