A couple years ago I visited Merridale Estate Cidery in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. With so many folks around Edmonton making cider, and many of them looking for the fastest, most efficient way to produce a year’s supply, I thought I’d post some details from a commercial operation.
The apples at Merridale are all old-world cider varieties, basically inedible out of hand, and absolutely nothing like North American grocery store apples. They have names like Dabinett, Chisel Jersey, and Hauxapfel. The varietals are categorized as either sharp, bitter, bitter sharp, or bittersweet. Here “sharp” refers to acidity and “bitter” refers to tannin and astringency like you find in red wine, tea, and walnut skin, not true bitter flavour … Continue reading.