SEA CIDER Kings & Spies
Crafted from a blend of Victoria’s heritage apples, we press the apples in the early fall then ferment the juice with a Champagne yeast to induce a malolactic fermentation. The unique aging process yields an aromatic, creamy, Italian-style sparkling cider reminiscent of frizzante Prosecco. Kings & Spies supports Lifecycles, a non-profit that promotes food security and urban agriculture and pairs with everything from crispy potato chips to chicken salad and complex seafood dishes.
Region: Saanich, Vancouver Island, B.C.
Varietal: Northern Spy
Suggested Retail Price $20
Northern Spy Apples
Typically found on the East Coast, Northern Spy apples are often used in desserts and ciders. With white juicy flesh, mild sweetness and a rich, aromatic flavour, they remain a popular variety.
Kings & Spies is the delicious result of our crowd-sourced fruit program and a tribute to the apple heritage of our region. That’s right – Kings & Spies is made from local apples foraged from apple trees and heritage orchards all over Victoria. When settlers first came to Victoria in the 1800’s they planted dozens of different apple varietals that would become the orchards surrounding Fort Victoria. While much has changed since then, many of these trees still exist today. Kings & Spies is named for two apple varietals in particular – the King of Tompkins and the Northern Spy. Dozens of more heritage varieties “of mysterious lineage” comprise the blend, which varies from year to year depending on the fruit brought to us by local residents, but the style is consistently gently effervescent and off-dry with mellow acidity. Depending on the year, it may show soft tannins, plus either fruity or floral and herbaceous notes on the nose. This cider is truly crowd-sourced and community-minded to the core.
After the apples are pressed to release the juice, fermentation takes place in pressurized stainless steel tanks to capture CO2, resulting in a naturally sparkling cider. The yeast strain used promotes a malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity of the cider (Island apples can be very acidic). The cider is fermented to dryness then a juice reserve is added prior bottling to balance the acidity.