Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Vaughan - November 18th, 2022 - After our visit to Erin Farmers’ Market last year, Christina and I drove 25 minutes back south towards our final destination for the evening. Spirit Tree Estate Cidery was on my list from the very beginning of Harvest Hunters, so I couldn’t have been more excited to visit. And boy, did it not disappoint.
As we drove up to the farm on Boston Mills Road, we spotted the beautiful wooden sign on our right hand side. We pulled into a busy lot, but were lucky to find a parking spot beside the apple orchard that happened to have a gorgeous sunset painted in the sky behind it. After moments of awe (and a few photos), Christina and I walked through the entrance of the Farm Shoppe which looked like a European vineyard from the parking lot. Inside the Farm Shoppe was an array of delicious items like freshly baked bread, pies and baked goods, ciders and an assortment of locally sourced food products. This is a place that absolutely brings joy to food lovers like myself. After exploring (and making a few purchases), Christina and I entered the cidery, then into the bistro for dinner where we enjoyed delicious ciders and wood-burning pizzas.
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is a small, community-focused facility in Caledon owned by the Watsons. Their environmentally-friendly property was designed and built with sustainability and practicality in mind. The Wilson family are fourth generation farmers in Caledon, Ontario. After years of running a successful farm market and pick-your-own operation, Thomas and Nicole Watson wanted to expand their business and create a legacy for their family. They had a vision of creating a modern Cidery that honoured old-world traditions. To develop their craft, they both dove head first into learning about artisan baking and cider-making courses. They took bread baking and pastry courses at George Brown College in Toronto, Le Cordon Bleu Chef School in Ottawa, and the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Chef School in Paris, France. They also enrolled in cider making courses in Somerset, England and at Cornell University in New York. They traveled several times to tour the UK and France, visiting the finest bakeries, pastry shops and cideries.
In 2005, they sold the original farm and began the search for the perfect location for their new venture. They had a vision - to create an upscale location with a beautiful view that would be a true destination for food lovers. They found their picturesque location on Boston Mills Road in the rolling hills of Caledon. The land had previously been used to grow hay, but speckled throughout the property were hundreds of wild apple trees. It was kismet that the property would be perfect for their soon to be apple orchard and cidery. In the spring of 2005, the family started planting apple trees with an initial block of 2,500 apple trees, comprising 15 different varieties. Over the next three years, they planted over 2,500 more apple trees. Construction of the building began at the end of October 2008 and we were finally ready to open in September of 2009.
I will absolutely be back to visit this beautiful cidery soon - whether it be for one of their Holiday activations, for a cidery tour and tasting, to listen to live music in the garden next summer, or to go apple picking next fall. And if you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend you do the same! You can visit their website for more information before your visit.
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