Merridale Cider began when current owner Rick Pipes & Janet Docherty purchased an existing apple orchard in 1999. They started by nurturing the orchard and began cider making. Their business has grown into a cidery, distillery, bistro and event destination. Beautiful landscaping including a pond, outdoor fountain, forest walk and yurts make Merridale a rustic, family-friendly adventure.
Merridale’s products include seven unique cider varieties, three fortified dessert wines and a range of brandies and spirits. The ciders are made with heritage varieties of English and French apples. Their fortified products including cider brandy, pear brandy, fruit vodka.
A new addition of distilled products have been unveiled starting with a new release of Whisky Jack in the fall of 2014.
In June 2015, Cowichan Gin a handcrafted, traditional gin was released. Made entirely from fruits and aged in stainless steel tanks for more than 3 years to soften the finish, it features 20 wild and native botanicals foraged from the Cowichan Valley. Local deciduous and coniferous trees, ground cover herbs and roots, and native berries have been selected by hand for the craft spirit. It’s truly a terroir gin.
Future distilled products will be launched under the Cowichan Spirits Line. In honour of Merridale’s home, they’ll release all forthcoming spirits under the Cowichan name.