Bittersweet apples are the backbone of traditional English cider and are some of the rarest apples in Canada. We grow several of these prized varietals, which can be heartbreaking to grow, yet produce some of the world’s finest cider. Our Bittersweet cider is an off-dry sparkler expressing the classic phenolic character of this coveted fruit. Raise a glass of Sea Cider to a bittersweet tradition!
Sea Cider’s Bittersweet is a cider truly rooted in tradition. The heartbreak of cultivating these heritage varietals comes from the tree’s tendencies to produce unpredictable yields. The battle with growing these trees can be as bittersweet as the cider itself. While bittersweets are ideal apples for fine cider making, they are frustrating to grow. For example, they tend to produce fruit only every other year, they often flower in winter months without the presence of pollinators, and they are susceptible to orchard diseases and pests. Yet we continue to grow bittersweets such as Dabinetts, Yarlington Mills and others because the cider they produce is exquisite. These apples provide the classic flavour of the finest English ciders. In a market increasingly dominated with ciders made from dessert apples, Bittersweet brings the classic phenolic character that can only come from the true cider-making apples.
How We Make This Cider:
Bittersweet is part of our Heirloom Series of ciders; that is, ciders which are varietal focused. Sea Cider grows many bittersweet cider varietals, which are high in tannin and low in acid. We press our bittersweets at the farm in the fall, then ferment the juice with champagne yeast to yield a cider full of phenolic character. From apple to glass, cidermaking takes up to four months.
Appearance: Clear, bright, amber
Aromas, flavours: Phenolic, spicy, cut apple, orchard leaves
Mouthfeel: Soft astringency, gently effervescent
Highest award: Best in Show at Dan Berger International Wine & Cider Competition 2017; Best in Show at Portland International Cider Cup 2018; multiple other awards.
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