You need world-class fruit to make a world-class beverage! Our orchards were planted with this in mind, and our farming practices reflect the values of sustainability, integrity, and mindful attention to detail that are the foundations of everything we do at Merridale. As a boutique cider and spirit producer, we carefully tend to each of our trees with special trimming and pruning techniques that ensure our apples are healthy, dense with flavour and untouched by harsh chemicals. From our branches to your glass, our apples are processed with artisanal care, and while it may be more labour-intensive to do things this way, the time and love we put into our farm is what makes our cider and spirits unique and delicious – and that’s worth it!
No pesticides: we prune and hand-weed in our orchards instead of using chemicals, and the only products allowed are those approved for organic orchards, although the orchard is not certified.
Friendly fertilizers: to compensate for nutrient draw-down during high harvests, we test our soil diligently. In the rainy season, we apply both pelleted orchard and natural fertilizers, along with prilled lime and mulch.
Water conservation: we know that water is a precious resource, and refrain from watering our orchards in the months of July and August (this also helps us produce apples that give our dry cider its distinctive flavour!)
We are proud that our practices are consciously aligned with our core values. We care about the earth, this island, and the people we share it with – that’s why we’ve partnered with organizations and non-profits that work tirelessly to promote sustainable local living with a mind toward conservation and culture.
Bio-regional conservation: we actively support populations of native bees by nurturing plant life that attracts bees and by providing “nests” in the form of ceramic pots and tea pots throughout our orchards. We have also partnered with local beekeepers to bring in additional habitats for these important pollinators. Apple blossom honey from the bees raised on the property can be found in our Farmhouse Store (link).
Cultural conservation: Merridale has partnered with Economusée to preserve traditional, hands-on techniques of cider production. Each Economusée location is dedicated to conserving the heritage of traditional skills, producing authentic handcrafted products and contributing innovative ideas to their trade. We are proud to open our doors and share our passion for cider making with our customers. Visit us to learn about the history and process of cider production through our self-guided tour of the orchard and cellar.
A Taste For Every Palate
Here at Merridale, we use cider apple varieties that have been proven for centuries in England, France, and Germany to make the best cider. All of our ciders are made from 100% pure juice, and only the first pressing is used. We do not add water or re-press the apples to increase the yield because we believe this compromises the flavour. Being purists, we do not use concentrates, chemicals at bottling, or fine filtration of juice. We ferment our juice slowly and naturally, to delicately bring out all of the flavour the fruit has to offer.