Introducing: Merridale Apple Blossom Sparkling Rose

June has arrived, and with it comes our latest seasonal release. Crisp, cold and fruity, Rosé has been a summer favourite for some time now, and we loved the idea of creating a rosé craft cider with these same delightful qualities. Blending natural rosehip and hibiscus with a touch of elderberry, our Apple Blossom Sparkling Rosé is a refreshing seasonal cider that can be enjoyed all summer long.

We started with a concept of making something reminiscent of the finest Rosés from Provence, France. We knew what the colour should be, but not yet what we would use to create it. We also hadn’t quite decided on the flavour profile, but knew that it needed to be at least semi-dry. So, starting with our Cowichan Dry craft cider, we started experimenting with recipes.

When spring arrived at our orchard in Cobble Hill this year, inspiration for our rosé recipe was staring us in the face. While most of our apple trees are heritage English varieties, we have three trees of an unknown Dutch variety that bloom in the most incredible shade of pink. We gathered some of these blossoms and infused them into our Cowichan Dry cider to naturally add a rosy hue. Following the floral theme, we then added rosehip and hibiscus, which complement each other wonderfully and added both fruitiness and acidity. As a final step, we added some elderberries to balance the flavour profile. The result is a slightly floral, off-dry pink cider with a hint of fruit and a bright finish.

The only way to do this special release justice was to present it in 750ml glass champagne bottles, which we did. You can pick up a bottle at Merridale, at specialty liquor stores across Vancouver Island, and at select liquor stores on the lower mainland. If you do buy some, we recommend that you enjoy it in a chilled wine glass alongside a fresh fruit platter or seasonal appetizers like grilled peaches and asparagus. Enjoy!