How did you get started?
Our business concept came about when we were introduced to 3rd generation family orchardists in Kelowna, who specialize in cider apple growing and are doing the very best they can to keep their orchards and not turn them into vineyards. This has happened in a lot of areas in the Okanagan as you can probably understand. To this day, we work with that same family but have also expanded to work with BC Tree Fruits which is made up of over 500 grower families in BC for our apple supply.
How did you get your name?
We selected the name "Lonetree" because we think we stand alone in our belief in a 100% BC quality product. And we use the phrase "old growth orchard" because many of the apple trees are nearly 80 years old!
How is your cider made?
Most people don’t know that cider is essentially an apple wine. Just as the ingredient in wine is considered wine or grapes, the ingredient in cider is considered cider or apples. Apples are crushed and fermented, aged and filtered, just like grape wine is made: and so we use most of the same equipment and processes that winemakers use to make wine.
What makes cider gluten free?
Authentic ciders like Lonetree are made from real apples, the result of the natural process of fermenting out most of the sugars from apple juice. This allows all Lonetree ciders, to be naturally gluten-free.
Do you use yeast/preservatives in your cider?
All ciders use yeast. It’s the only way to make fermentation and to create alcohol. The ONLY way. Wine cider beer even spirits… all use yeast to create alcohol. Cider is supposed to be totally filtered so it is crystal clear and yeast free, something we are very good at!
Some amount of preservative is required stop cider from going to vinegar and so, yes, we do use sulfites just as most wines do, too. One small point though, because there is less sugar in cider than wine, the risk of going off is lower and so we use way less sulfites than normally used in winemaking.
Where are you located? Do you offer tours?
At this time we purchase apples and apple wine from an old-growth orchard in Kelowna and have signed an agreement to also work with BC Tree Fruits for supply, as we’ve grown a lot in the past couple of years. Then, we ferment and blend it to our own recipe. Once our cider is aged and ready for packaging we send it to a packaging company in Kamloops, who can and package it in our own Lonetree packaging materials. So you see, there really isn’t a single location to visit. We are really hopeful of building a cidery and packaging plant near the orchards in Kelowna, but frankly, that is still a few years away.
Are you available in the US? Can you ship direct?
We made a go of selling Lonetree in the US under the brand name Soultree due to a naming conflict, but unfortunately the distributor we had for Soultree went under, so currently, we are not exporting to the US. Hopefully, we can make a foray into the US again sometime in the future. Sadly, we are not allowed to ship direct to consumers across the border or within our own country for that matter, due to liquor laws.