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December 08, 2008
Merridale Fruit Brandies

For the perfect holiday toast, raise a glass to Vancouver Island’s own Merridale Ciderworks Artisan Distillery.

Just one year after mastering the intricacies of the operation’s new 200-litre hand-made copper still, Merridale released its first fruit brandies in November, in time for a little Christmas cheer.  The essence?  Merridale’s eau de vie, a colourless fruit brandy that ferments the whole crushed fruit prior to distillation, is poised to pour with two tempting tastes: Blackberry Oh de Vie! and Apple Oh de Vie!.

These newest additions will complement the producer’s collection of cider offerings, a lineup which includes Scrumpy, Cyser, Somerset, Cidre Normandie, Traditional English and Merriberri as well as their sweet fortified wines Pomme Oh! and Mure Oh! (black current) which will incorporate the luscious eaux de vie into their vintages, a first for Vancouver Island.

Still hungry for more?  Look for Merridale’s menus to take the tipple beyond the tasting room by integrating the brandy into their desserts at the cidery’s Bistro la Pommeraie.  (Post-meal, take a stroll through Merridale’s Ciderhouse, and pause for a peek at the hand-hammered copper still that started it all.) 

Merridale Ciderworks is situated in Cobble Hill in the Cowichan Valley.  -- by Carla Mont.
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