Canadian winters are notoriously tough and while winter on Vancouver Island, Canada is more mild than the rest of the country, it can be drudgery. In British Columbia’s temperate rainforest, winters are cold and wet with a minimum of 1500 millimetres of rain falling per year – that’s rain with a capital ‘R’. With days are dark and looming clouds during the season, it can hamper even the toughest outdoor lover’s plans. If you’re a little tired of the coffee shop visits and endless rain walks and need something a little outside of the box, try visiting one of the many award-winning cideries on Vancouver Island! Take a day to tour the cideries, learn about cider making and try the incredible batches made from heritage apples!
8750 W Coast Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 1H2 | 250-642-1956
To kick off our list of West Coast cideries, we’re starting at the southwest corner of Vancouver Island in Sooke. While technically not a cidery, this unique farm needed to be on this list! At Tugwell you can find many different types of mead, the ancient potable made from fermented honey, yeast and water. This beautiful farm is home to carefully tended beehives that are perfectly placed to allow the bees to forage the local wildflowers, producing the most flavourful honey. If you are searching for a unique experience and you’re staying at a lovely EMR rental in Metchosin or Sooke, Tugwell Farms is worth the trip!
2487 Mt St Michael Rd, Saanichton, BC V8M 1T7 | 250-544-4824
All the way on the other side of Vancouver Island, on the Saanich Peninsula close by all the gorgeous EMR rentals in Saanichton you’ll find one of the most well-known cideries on Vancouver Island. Boasting over 60 certified organic varietals of both cider and heritage apples, Sea Cider offers visitors a chance to both sample their large selection of award-winning ciders, explore the beautiful apple orchard and snack on carefully created dishes in the tasting room.
1230 Merridale Rd, Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L0 | 250-743-4293
Just north of Victoria, in the Cowichan Valley, is the charming Merridale Cider. The large, inviting, barn-turned-restaurant and tasting room sits on the 20 acre farm & orchard in Cobble Hill. It’s a great place to kick back on a rainy day and sample some small batch dry ciders, especially if you’re staying close by at one of the many beautiful EMR rentals in the Cowichan Valley.
7661 Mays Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 6A8 | 250-510-1018
Heading north, just outside Duncan and only 20 minutes away from the EMR Cowichan Valley rentals is the hip Valley Cider. Bruce MicKinlay, the passionate owner and operator ensures that Valley Cider always creates excellent quality craft cider and that the super friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer all your questions. Make sure you leave with some cider to enjoy later – the label alone is worth purchasing a few!
4905 Darcy Rd, Courtenay, BC V9J 1R5 | 250-338-9765
In the beautiful town of Courtenay, just a hour north of Nanaimo you’ll find this cool cidery that not only produce traditional cider apples for their libations but a variety of fresh fruit like blueberries, blackberries and plums, grown right on the farm to produce some surprisingly delicious flavour combinations on-site!
2186 Endall Rd, Black Creek, BC V9J 1G8 | 250-337-8325
Just north of Raven’s Moon is the quirky-meets-classic farm, where they take their slogan take a break from the grape very seriously. You won’t find any traditional grape varietals here, instead, the folks at Coastal Black produce sensational, farm based fruit wines, mead, sparkling wine and port-style wine using local berries and fruit.
The Gulf Islands are home to some incredible cideries and while they are a little off the beaten track, they are absolutely worth a visit.
5601 Lupin Rd, Pender Island, BC V0N 2M1
First up on our Gulf Island cideries list is the artisanal Twin Island Cider on Pender Island. With varieties of apples and pear harvested from hundred-year-old trees, these avid and conscientious farmers are making excellent craft cider and perry that’ll delight your taste buds and make the trip to the Island worth it!
151 Sharp Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2P6 | 250-931-5554
Hopping over to Salt Spring Island, you’ll find a quaint, rustic cider house run by a stone sculptor and a philosopher. This little cidery makes its popular libation as close to the traditional English version as possible from a combination of apples from the heritage apples from their orchard, local organic orchards, and wild apple trees in the area.
1240 Coats Dr, Gabriola, BC V0R 1X4 | 250-325-1111
This unique orchard is a popular u-pick site as well as a cidery and with over a thousand trees and over 25 varieties, Ravenskill has produced some exceptional, traditional, dry cider. For guests enjoying one of the lovely EMR rentals in Nanaimo, Parksville & Qualicum Beach or the Comox Valley it’s a short drive to Departure Bay where you can take a BC Ferry to Gabriola Island.
Winter in BC can feel very long but with so many cideries to visit, even the winter months can be full of new experiences. Just make sure to pick up a few bottles on your visit, local hand-crafted cider makes a great present and can be an excellent pairing to your favourite home-cooked meal – an excellent way to see it through the winter months!