UPDATED June 15. We have selected the winner!
The submissions are in! Check out the incredible artwork!
When we decided to do a contest to design the label for our new Peachy Pear Cider, we were only expecting a few entries. We were absolutely blown away by what came in! This is such a creative community with incredible talent!
It was VERY hard to choose but we narrowed it down to our top four choices (in no particular order). Let us know what you think!
We will be making the final selection on June 15 and will notify the winner.
If your artwork wasn't selected, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your time and creativity. Thank you so much for sending us your beautiful creations!
Congrats to Julia Do Alamo!
Her work was selected as the label for our new Peach Pear Cider.
Julia is a 19 year old graphic design student from George Brown College.
You can check out more of Julia's work on Instagram at @thedesignfeminine.
Our Peach Pear Cider will be available with is swanky new label this July!
Annie De Guzman
Lucy Cifoni Hughes
Albazini Van Wyk
Carina and James Marcogliese
Sally Jane Ross
And that's a wrap folks! The blossom season was very short this year. The trees were budding for about 2 weeks but with the warm weather, the blossoms only lasted about 5 days.
There were lots of blossoms this year, which means lots of apples this fall for picking and cider!
Thanks to everyone who followed along and enjoyed the photos. Until next year!
The honeybees have been very happy in the last few days!
With the trees blooming, they are hard at work pollinating all the blooms. The bees help cross-pollinate the apple blooms and ensure we have a healthy harvest in the fall.
The bees are an essential part of the pollination process for the formation of apples.
The crabapples are always the first to bloom. With the recent warm days, the buds have popped and are in full bloom!
The Empires will be the next to bloom.
Just a reminder, that our orchards are closed to the public. We know they make for beautiful photos but please no wondering in the orchard. Thank you for underrstanding!
Calling all artists! This summer, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is launching a new cider and we want YOUR help to design the new label!
Yes, that's right! The maker of your favourite ciders, like Dry Hopped and Pear Lavender, is launching a new flavour. With hot summer days creeping around the corner, we’ve decided to make yet another specialty spin-off of our classic Spirit Tree Pear Cider.
What delicious fruit is soft and juicy, and a summer-time favourite? Absolutely mouth-watering when caramelized in an open wood-fire oven?
We are so excited to announce the release of our Peachy Pear Craft Cider. We source the tastiest of Ontario grown peaches, slowly roasted with a dash of cinnamon in our signature wood-fire oven, then blended to perfection for a crisp, pear-based cider with a finish of oven-roasted peaches.
Let your creative juices flow and help us design the new can label. Your artwork will be featured on the new label of our Peachy Pear Craft Cider (name TBC).
The winner will have full bragging writes for designing the new label, as well awarded $150 and a 24-can case of the new cider!
- You are designing the artwork that will be featured on Spirit Tree's new cider. The flavour is Pear blended with roasted peaches.
- The contest is open to all artists and there is no limitations on the type of artwork! Hand drawn, graffiti, painted, digital illustration...show us your creative side.
- Artwork can be created with physical or digital media.
- Artists may submit more then one piece.
- Artist must be of 19 years or older to participate.
- Artwork must be submitted electronically by email or in person to Spirit Tree Estate Cider in Caledon by June 12, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.
- Artwork submitted electronically must be high res (min 300 px).
- Spirit Tree staff will select three (3) finalists on June 13. The final winner will be selected by 6:00 p.m. on June 14, 2020 and notified within 24 hours.
- By entering this art competition, you are granting Spirit Tree Estate Cidery a non-exclusive perpetual license to reproduce images of your artwork on our website, newsletter and social media networks, with credit to the artist.
- The winner will have bragging writes and be awarded a $150 cash prize and a 24-can case of the new peach pear cider.
- Once selected, Spirit Tree Estate Cider will own all rights to the winning artwork. The artist has no right to sales commission or any other reimbursement above and beyond the contest winnings.
- Spirit Tree reserves the right to modify the original artwork in any way, as appropriate to fit the can label.
TO ENTER CONTEST
- Deadline to enter contest: June 12, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.
- Complete application form. Download the application form below.
Two ways to submit artwork:
- Submit artwork electronically by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (must be high res - min 300 px).
- In person to Spirit Tree Estate Cidery at 1137 Boston Mills Road, Caledon
UPDATED JULY 16, 2020
At Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, the health of our customers and employees are our number one priority.
The Ciderhouse Bistro remains closed BUT our outdoor patio is OPEN as of July 3.
Our goal is always to serve our community by providing an option for food items, as well as maintain jobs for our employees. To do so, the Farm Shoppe remains open for baked bread and pastries, fresh and frozen meals, groceries and take-out options.
In addition to our already rigorous cleaning and sanitation procedures, we have implemented further health and safety policies:
New Farm Shoppe & Patio Procedures:
- A hand sanitizing station is set up outside the front door. We kindly ask that all customers entering Spirit Tree properly sanitize their hands.
- As on May 23, we ask that all customers entering the store and patio wear a face mask. Face masks are for sale for $1 for anyone who doesn't have one.
- Once seating at a table on the patio or tented area, guests are welcome to remove their mask.
- Public bathrooms are now open.
- All picnic areas are open, however they are not sanitized after every use. Please use picnic area at your own risk.
- All surfaces, including counters, door handles, pay machines, computer screens etc. are sanitized several times throughout the day.
- A limit of 5 people in the store at any one time (previously 6)
- Only one person from your family/group in the store at time.
- When paying, please use tap, when possible.
- Curbside delivery is available, upon request.
- All freshly baked bread is behind the counter to limit contact.
New Employee Procedures:
- As on May 23, all employees are required to wear a face mask during their shift.
- All employees must change into and out of their uniforms before and after their shift.
- All employees must wash their hands at the start of their shift, and continue to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer several times throughout their shift.
- All employees must sanitize their cell phones before the start of their shift.
- All employees must remain in their department, keeping a safe distance from each other and customers during their shift.
- Any employee who is not feeling well or have any COVID-19 symptoms must stay home.
- Any employees who have traveled outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days and have medical clearance before returning to work.
We assure you that we are taking this crisis seriously and following good cleaning and social distancing to look after each other, our customers and our community at large. On behalf of everyone at Spirit Tree, we thank you for all your support during this difficult time.
Proprietor and Cider Master
We are finally starting to see the sunshine and warmer temperatures. For the apple trees, this means that the blossoms are just around the corner. The buds are in the pre-bloom stage, also known as the popcorn stage.
We expect to be in full bloom sometime next week.
We would like to remind customers that the orchards are off-limits. Customers are not allowed to walk into the orchards.
As if we haven't been dealing with enough, Mother Nature gives us snow in May! Here in Caledon, we woke to an 1.5 inch of snow on the ground. Thankfully it didn't last long but we have had a few frosty mornings.
When the temperature goes below zero, we expect to see some damage to the buds. Thankfully each bud has 5 blossoms and we only need one for an apple.
We are still expecting the trees to be in full blossom by the third week of May.
While the rest of the world has stopped, Mother Nature forges on. The buds on the apple trees are start to burst. We expect to see the blossoms by mid-May!
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery opened its doors in September 2009. Much like an apple tree in the orchard, the idea for the Cidery was planted many years before it first blossomed.
Let’s take a look back at how it all began…
Thomas Wilson, owner and operator of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, grew up on his family farm in Caledon on Dixie Road near King Street. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, because his father and grandfather both had a farm and apple orchard. As a fourth-generation farmer, Tom learned from a very early age about farming and grew up to run the family’s Pick-Your-Own & Farm Shop.
In 2002, he married Nicole Judge, a local girl from Cheltenham. Although the Pick-Your-Own & Farm Shop was flourishing, the couple wanted a more sustainable business that was less dependant of the weather. That is when the seeds for Spirit Tree were first planted.
A passion for food and cider
Over the next few years, Tom and Nicole took their passion for good food to new levels and started enrolling in pastry courses. They took an introductory course at George Brown College and then went on to enroll in Le Cordon Bleu Chef School in Ottawa. They spent their holidays learning about traditional cider making in England and journeyed to Paris to complete an intensive one-week course in bread making at the famous Le Cordon Bleu Chef School.
Tom Wilson & Nicole Judge – 10 years ago
They visited bakeries all over Paris and fell in love with the quality of bread in France. They started dreaming about how they could bring their artisan know-how and old-world techniques home to create a high-end cidery and bistro serving artisan foods, unlike anything Caledon had ever seen.
Planting the orchard
In 2004, Tom decided to sell his grandfather’s farm and the couple began the search for the perfect property for their new idea. They wanted a spot that was easily accessible to the urban crowd, but with a picturesque view of the Caledon Hills. They eventually settled on 46 acres of land on Boston Mills Road, the current property for Spirit Tree.
The land had previously only been used to grow hay, but the soil proved to be perfect for growing apples. In the spring of 2005, along with the help of family and friends, they started planting whips, year-old unbranched tree shoots that would eventually grow into full apple trees.
In the first year, they planted 2,500 apple trees by hand. They wanted to establish the orchard before they started digging for the proposed building. In each year that followed, they planted more trees and more varieties. Today, there are over 6,400 trees and 47 varieties of apples on the property.
Slamming on the brakes
Their original dream was to open the cidery and bakery in 2006, but bureaucratic red tape delayed their dreams. When Tom first approached the Niagara Escarpment Commission with his idea of opening a cidery, he was immediately shut down.
Due to its location, Tom had to get approval from not only the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC), but the Town of Caledon and the Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). Each with its own concerns for the project moving forward, their dream of opening in 2006 came to a complete halt.
After a huge investment in time and money to meet the demands of the NEC and CVC, Tom and Nicole were given the green light and were able to open the doors to Spirit Tree in September of 2009.
When they opened however, they did not have the full licence to manufacture hard cider, so they were only able to sell their non-alcoholic sweet cider. The Bistro was also limited in what it could offer, so it opened as a café, serving just soup and sandwiches.
It wasn’t until a full year later in 2010, were they permitted to sell their first hard cider – traditional Pub Cider…now called Draught Cider.
What’s in a name?
The name Spirit Tree was also a long time in the making.
As Tom and Nicole became experts in traditional cider making, they learned about “wassailing” – an ancient English tradition. The ceremony of wassailing included singing and toasting the trees in an orchard. The purpose was to awaken the apple trees and scare away evil spirits to ensure the health of the trees, in the hopes they will provide a good harvest.
So, the name “Spirit Tree” paid homage to the ancient tradition of wassailing but was also a play-on-words to the fact that cider is an alcoholic drink or ‘spirit’ from trees.