Cawston’s newest business venture is also a first for the Lower Similkameen.
Fairview Cider will begin selling made- in – the – valley apple cider on Ritchie Drive when the doors open to the public on the July 4 weekend.
Kaylan Madiera, along with husband Joe Schneider are the businesses’ proprietors and cider makers. They have been making cider for three years; two years ago they both took a cider making course in the U.S.
“It was our idea to diversify our crop here,” Madiera said, “cider apples don’t make for a pleasant eating experience, but they make great cider.”
Madiera said the high tannin apples are hand picked and sorted. Culls or inferior fruit is not used in the hand-crafted cider making process Fairview Cider uses.
Cider apple varieties such as Balmer Normandy, Cox Orange, Pippin, Porters Perfection and Colville Blaze are grown on the Madiera – Schneider orchard on Newton Drive. The couple are the only ones in the area growing these varieties.
The cider house itself is located on Ritchie Drive, on orchardist Ron Schneider’s property.
“We needed a location where we could make the cider and offer sales and tastings,” Madeira explained. The couple leased an unused building on Schneider’s property, where they have since produced their first batch of cider.
“We also make apple juice and soft cider, so there is something attractive to kids,” Madeira said. Kaylan and Joe plan to open on the Canada Day weekend. (Fairview Cider already has its own Facebook page and website at: cider.ca.)
Initial production includes three varieties of cider at 6.6 per cent alcohol. There’s Pippin, an extra dry version, Kingston, a semi sweet rendition and Santa Rosa, a blush cider that has been blended with Santa Rosa plums from the Schnieder orchard.
“We use all certified organic fruit,” said Madeira, who said she and Joe are fifth generation farmers. Kaylan, who is from the Oliver area, said the name of the company came from the well travelled route she and Joe used to see each other when they first met in 2009.
“We crossed Fariview Mountain many times,” she laughed.
Joe and Kaylan’s orchard comprises 6 -1/2 acres that were planted six years ago. Their farm is known as “Backachers Farm” a whimsical name that complements the name of father in law Schnieder’s “Heartachers Farm”. The two farms are the only acreages involved in the cider making venture.
Madeira said their market research defined a demographic in the 20 to 60 year old range.
“We think a lot of people will enjoy our product,” she said, adding they plan to sell at farmgate and locally to restaurants and cold beer and wine stores.
“We’re pretty thrilled to be the Similkameen’s first cider makers,” Madeira said.
Fairview Cider’s intial production consisted of 4,500 litres of cider. They will be marketing it in 750 millilitre bottles, at $14 for cider and $16 for the blush version. They expect to open their facility, located at 2080 Ritchie Drive in Cawston, on the Canada Day weekend and henceforth, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.