Merridale Cider Wins Best of Class, Gold, & Silver


Merridale Ciderworks from Cobble Hill, B.C. has consistently won awards for its craft ciders made from the apples they grow in the Cowichan Valley. Now, that high standard has been recognized for the brandies they make. At the American Distilling Association 8th Annual competition, Merridale Artisan Distillery brandies were awarded Best in Class, Gold and Silver against competition from all over North America.

Merridale Stair’s Pear Brandy was judged Best of Class – Certified Craft Distilled Spirits in the Brandy category. The pear brandy was also awarded a Gold medal in the Aged Brandy Category. This brandy is made from BC Bartlett pears distilled in 2007 and aged in new French Oak barrels for more than 6 years. “We think this is North America’s oldest barrel aged pear brandy. Each sip reminds you of biting into a fresh pear just picked from the tree, followed by that smooth warmth of a fine brandy” says Rick Pipes, the head distiller. “This is such a special recognition after waiting so long to release this first batch of pear brandy”.

Laurent Lafuente, one of Canada’s few master blenders, joined our team a few years ago and has been instrumental in helping us to continually push ourselves to greater heights. “We are extremely blessed with dedicated people in the cellar and distillery. The passion and skill of our team is one of our strengths” boasts Pipes.

Merridale Cowichan Cider Brandy was also recognized in the Aged Apple Brandy Category with a Silver Medal. This cider brandy has been aged in new French Oak Barrels since 2007. It is the first brandy released by Merridale. Co-owner Janet Docherty exclaims “it is so exciting to receive such prestigious awards for our first two releases of aged brandy. We have waited more than 6 years for these to be ready for release and we are thrilled with the result. Customers that have had the opportunity to try these brandies have noted the complex flavours that linger after each sip – perfect at the end of the meal or an evening drink.”

Merridale Ciderworks Corp. has been producing all natural apple ciders in Cobble Hill since 1989 and started making craft spirits in 2007. In June 2013 Merridale was accredited by the Province as BC’s first Craft Distillery under the new rules. All of Merridale’s cider and spirits are made from 100% BC grown fruits, fermented and distilled on the farm without the addition of sulfites. Janet Docherty and Rick Pipes have owned Merridale since 2000.

The apples used in Merridale’s 6 different ciders are predominantly grown in their orchard in the Cowichan Valley without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The apples are vintage varieties of cider apples originally grown in England and France for their superior cider characteristics.>>
Merridale is open to the public for complimentary tours and tastings from their farm at 1230 Merridale Road, Cobble Hill, B.C. and their ciders and spirits are available at fine pubs, beer & wine stores, and restaurants on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

For more information, please visit our web site, or contact Janet Docherty at 250-743-4293, or 250-920-9453.


Merridale Ciderworks Corp.
PO Box 358, 1230 Merridale Road
Cobble Hill, British Columbia V0R 1L0

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