I feel like we’ve taken apples for granted. A drive through the Annapolis Valley in the fall reveals countless apple trees, fallen fruit strewn haphazardly on the ground below, left behind, forgotten. On the flip side, a vigorous public appetite for all things local means a fresh spotlight is shining on this common pantry staple. Cideries are the new craft breweries, they’re popping up all over, and there’s no sign of stopping.
NO BOATS ON SUNDAY
100% NOVA SCOTIAN CIDER
This premium cider with the interesting name is bottled in Truro, and it’s crafted from Nova Scotia apples only. The name is a nod to the Port of Halifax and its back-in-the-day policy of no work on Sundays. A refreshing and flavourful effervescent cider, No Boats should be considered a patio staple this summer. Drink it alone or with food; it’s practically perfect.
ANNAPOLIS CIDER COMPANY
All of the apples in Annapolis Cider Company’s cider come from Annapolis Valley orchards. Fermented at their cidery in the heart of Wolfville, Heirloom is Annapolis’ signature blend. At 8.1% alcohol, it’s a full-bodied heavy-hitter loaded with fresh apple flavour, notes of minerality and a gentle fizz. It’s a great pairing to oysters, summer salads or cheeses.
TRADITIONAL HARD CIDER
Located in Wolfville, Elderkin’s Farm has been crafting cider from hand-harvested apples for 10 generations. Light, clear and dry, this traditional-style blend, made from some of the 85-plus varieties of apples grown on Elderkin’s property, is produced naturally in small batches. Try it with roasted pork, fish cakes or anything spicy.
Halfway between Kentville and Chester is the small community of New Ross, and it’s here that Muwin Estate Winery and Cidery produces Bulwark Cider. Made from five varieties of pressed Annapolis Valley apples, Bulwark Original is fresh and dry with a whiff of blossoms on the nose and a tangy acidity on the tongue. If pairing with food, think soft cheese, roasted root vegetables or crisp-skinned poultry.
WILD BLUEBERRY CIDER
This off-dry cider, made by the folks at Shipbuilders Cider in Windsor, has a rosy blush hue, a sweet uptake in the mouth and a dry finish. With undertones of flowers and berries, this lovely little gem is juicy and full of fruit flavour. A quintessential patio sipper; fill a bucket with ice and get to it.
Rum. It’s near and dear to the Nova Scotian heart. Planters Ridge Winery in Port Williams has teamed up with Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg to create the ultimate Bluenose blend. Annapolis Valley apples, fermented and blended with Ironworks dark rum, Planters Ridge Rummed Cider is strong, spicy and dry with a deep gold colour. Serve warm or cold.