I was quite excited to find out at the annual Saltscapes Expo this weekend that Tideview Cider just won four medals at the Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition in Michigan This competition is the largest of its kind in North America and the second largest in the English-speaking world.
Tideview's big winner was Tideview Heritage Dry Cider 2007: a classic dry cider winning both a gold medal for Best North American Style Cider and an honourable mention for Best of Show. According toTideview’s cider-maker, John Brett, there were over 130 entrants in that category.
Other Tideview awards include a silver medal for Heritage SemiDry 2008, and a bronze medal for the Raspberry Cider 2008.
The Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition is open to all apple and pear fermentation beverages. Brett emphasizes that “Cider” and “Perry” are alcoholic beverages made by fermenting apple or pear juice. Entries came from 17 US states and three Canadian provinces, as well as producers in the English counties of Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Dorset and Suffolk.
“Our goal is to produce fine ciders and hopefully, in the process, revive the strong cider-making tradition that existed in Nova Scotia from the 17th through the 19th century,” says Brett. “Most people wouldn’t know that the Acadian settlers planted apple orchards in the 17th century so they could make hard ciders - which makes our cider tradition one of the oldest on the continent.”
“In other parts of the world where cider is popular there isn’t any confusion,” Brett explains. “Cider is an alcoholic beverage, like wine. But here in North America, we often use “cider” to refer to sweet, unfermented apple juice…sometimes when we sample our ciders at special events or the farm market it takes people by surprise.”
Tideview Cider has been around for six years. All of the special cider apples and other fruit is grown at Noggins Corner Farm or by neighbouring farms. The farm is located on the shores of the Minas Basin at the head of the Bay of Fundy, between Wolfville and New Minas.
I often give this 'Bay of Fundy themed' cider as a gift: can be purchased at Noggins Farm, in many Nova Scotia Liquor stores and at several specialty wine shops in Halifax.