Sunday was cider tour day. We decided the evening before that it would be fun to visit a couple of local cideries around the Victoria region - a Sunday 'outing' that would be a little different for us. It was a beautiful morning and we were ready to start our day bright and early. We prepared the morning coffee and a light snack which we packed and took with us to the beach where we spent an hour or so. The sun was shining and it was warm enough for Richard to have an early morning dip in the ocean. We sat by the water's edge with our coffee and finished our light breakfast - after which we packed up then drove to the Brentwood Bay ferry.
The boat ride over was short, only a twenty-five minute ride, but was enjoyable as we had just enough time to step out onto the deck to catch the fresh sea air.
We arrived in Mill Bay and I had to quickly run into the store to buy batteries for my camera. The stop at the store was a 'meant to be' as we came across a very peculiar sight in the parking lot - fortunately I had my camera in hand at the time.
Buckley needs a hair cut! Well, this really made our day. I took a few snaps of Buckley then we continued on our journey to Cobble Hill. The drive through Cobble Hill was very picturesque with views of farms and rolling green fields with tractors preparing their land for crops, winding roads through pastoral countryside and apple orchards. We had missed the Spring blossoms on the apple trees this time but they were still a pretty sight.
The Merridale Estate Cidery is located in this area, it is home to many apple trees and is where they produce their own organic apple cider and brandies. It is a charming place to visit and makes for a wonderful Sunday countryside drive; not only do they offer their apple cider for tasting but there is a restaurant and cute little gift shop on the premises. We enjoyed a walk around the property and viewed the fermentation room with big tanks and barrels and then afterwards we sampled a few of their ciders and one of brandy (small samples).
After viewing this very pretty estate, it was time to continue our Sunday drive and visit the Sea Cidery on the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria driving towards the Town of Sidney. The Victoria region is known for its local wines, craft beers and ciders, these are very much a part of 'west coast' culture on the island (and B.C.). Though we could not visit them all in one day - we will attempt to visit a couple of wineries and craft breweries in the near future - then write about them in this journal.
It was mid-afternoon when we arrived at the Sea Cidery. The weather had changed to cloudy and muggy. The sky was hazy and Mt. Baker was barely visible in the background. We sat outisde on the large open veranda, ready to sample some delicious apple. We tried a sample of their 'Rumrunner' cider, which had been aged in rum barrels, it was delicious.