In our new blog series, Island Neighbours, we feature some popular attractions from the diversity that enrich our Island lifestyle. Today it’s award winning Merridale Estate Ciderworks, producers of “the best English-style cider in Canada”.
An artisan business must meet stringent guidelines and criteria to qualify for Economusee designation. An Economusee is a for-profit craft or agrifood business that employs authentic, traditional techniques in the production of its products. It also showcases artisans by opening their workplace to the public, providing a unique and genuine learning experience – much like a working museum. It must also operate a boutique selling quality products, representing its business and region.
One of the few cider orchards in North American, following traditional methods of production, selling superior products on site and promoting agri-tourism ensured Merridale Estate Ciderworks of the coveted designation.
Merridale uses cider apple varieties, proven for centuries in England, France and Germany to make the best cider and only 100% pure juice, from the first pressing. Owners Rick Pipes and Janet Docherty are passionate about
following practices and procedures that will not compromise their world-class product.
Sustainable farming practices are fully employed. Rich even hand weeds in the orchard. No pesticides are used. Merridale is partnering with the Land Conservancy to continue development of natural habitat in the orchards that is attractive to native bees. Only sustainable transportation is used – bicycles with wagons and a small truck that runs on-bio diesel from waste vegetable oil collected in the region.
Turning more than 70 tons of fruit per year into 3 fortified dessert wines, a range of brandies and spirits and 7 unique cider varieties considered to be “the best English-style cider in Canada”, makes it easy to see why they say “Eat, Drink and be Merridale”
Merridale Cider is only 23 kilometres from Elkington Forest.