Anne and Alex Jamieson establish orchard and cidery
by Bryan Carver
It takes a great deal of time to nurture a fruit tree to maturity. Fortunately for Islanders, two dedicated Scots have taken up the task in picturesque Riverdale to establish PEI’s only cidery.
Anne and Alex Jamieson first visited PEI in 2009 and it was love at first sight. That initial trip, nearly a decade ago, lead Anne and Alex to make an annual pilgrimage to PEI in the summers until they finally decided to make the Island their permanent home. Now residents, they have gone a great deal further than just putting down their own roots, but they have also rooted thousands of apple trees to date at Riverdale Orchards, with plans for many more.
Starting a cidery on PEI is no easy task. First, as Anne told me on a recent visit, they needed to become apple farmers before they could produce cider. Currently, if you wish to produce hard cider commercially on PEI, you need to have a minimum of 3 acres of trees adjacent to the production facility. The Jamieson’s were armed with a vision of becoming the Island’s first commercial producers and fortunately for us, their unwavering determination has lead to a truly fine beverage for consumers.
The first product made available from Riverdale Orchards is a hard cider they’ve dubbed ‘2 Scots, 3 Apples’. Made from the pressings of Cortland, Nova Mac and Northern Spy apples grown in their orchard with zero additives, ‘2 Scots, 3 Apples’ is a crisp, clean and dry hard cider that is unbelievably refined. It is truly incredible that such a natural product can be produced with nothing more than apples, dedication to craft, and time.
As the trees mature, we should see more products coming from Riverdale Orchards. I particularly look forward to a cider the Jamieson’s want to produce with mature apple trees that occupy the hedgerows on their property, aptly named ‘2 Scots, 1 Hedgerow’.
The supply of ‘2 Scots, 3 Apples’ is limited this year and only available at Riverdale Orchards. I highly encourage anyone curious to make the trip to Riverdale to try the product. There is a patio available to sit outside and have bottle of cider while admiring the beautiful airy view of the surrounding hills and the maturing apple trees. They have a small kitchen on-site for baking traditional Scottish biscuits and breads. I am certain they won’t be able to spend much time in the kitchen however, as they need to keep up with all the people they have coming through the doors in search of their cider.
—Bryan Carver is Prince Edward Island’s first Certified Cicerone, a professional brewer and a longtime lover of beer (now acquiring a taste for cider).