Devour! Osoyoos is coming soon! We’re so proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic festival.
The sights and flavours of Devour! Osoyoos perfectly exemplify all that makes food, wine, cider, and film so appealing.
The winemakers, cidermakers, and chefs that will be showcased during this highly-anticipated event are all unique and amazing. We’d like to let everyone get to know them a little better.
We’ve started a series that highlights each of the participating Similkameen Independent Winegrowers. In the true spirit of our down-to-earth, welcoming region, the winemakers, cidermakers, and proprietors have answered a variety of questions –from quirky to sincere. Their answers may surprise you…
We hope you enjoy learning about these dedicated and talented folks as much as we have!
Twisted Hills Craft Cider
Twisted Hills Craft Cider has the unique distinction of being the Similkameen Valley’s first independent cidery. That spirit of self-sufficiency is evident the cidery’s enthusiastic and devoted young owners, Kaylan Madeira and Jo Schneider. Following in the footsteps of generations of Similkameen and Okanagan farmers, this pair has captured the renowned flavours of local fruit as well as the vibrancy of this dynamic region.
Like many Similkameen growers, Kaylan and Jo are committed to cultivating organic fruit on their 7 acre cider-specific orchard. The acidic and tannic apples thrive in this fertile soil, and their crisp, balanced flavours shine in Kaylan’s talented cider-making hands. Since their initial production in 2012, the 7 ciders in Twisted Hills’ portfolio have consistently won awards across North America. Visitors will be able to taste –and toast to– Twisted Hills’ success in their *almost ready* cutting edge new tasting room, the CiderDome, set to open this summer. Twisted Hills’ roots may have been planted in 2008, but their foundation is set for the future.
The Similkameen Valley has been home world-class-fruit for more than 100 years (Jo is a 5th-generation orchardist, here!); with forward-thinking, talented producers like Twisted Hills at the helm, the future of the Similkameen is definitely in the bottle.
If you could only drink one cider for the rest of your life, which cider would it be, and why? Pippin’s Fate. It has exactly the flavour profile I personally look for in a cider. It has this beautiful acidity that makes it crisp and clean with lemon and lime notes to it. It is nice and dry, with only a slight amount of residual sugar, and lets the apples speak for themselves. I drink it year-round as my go-to cider.
What is your greatest passion? The CiderDome, cidermaking aside, is my greatest passion right now. Jo and I are building our dream tasting room. It has been a rollercoaster of a build, but we are excited to be opening it the public –fingers crossed– in June!
What might people be surprised to learn about you? I think people would be surprised that Jo and I built our business from the ground up on our own. For being so young, I think it is a shock to people. We own 12 acres: a 7 acre home lot and a 5 acre lot where we are building the CiderDome. I was 23 when we started Twisted Hills, and most people are surprised that I am the owner/cidermaker. Though it is not much of a surprise for most people that I am Portuguese (Swedish on my maternal side), many are surprised to learn that I do not make wine with a last name such as mine! I am serenaded with, “Have Some Madeira M’Dear”, numerous times throughout the year.
What’s your secret food craving? Grao de Bico Guisado; it is a Portuguese dish that I grew up on which entails sautéing onions, then adding tomatoes and chickpeas and letting it simmer. It’s a supers simple meal, and I crave it so frequently, I make it at least three times a week.
What’s your favourite food to eat while watching movies? Classic. Popcorn, though cannot be smothered in butter or toppings. Just plain…but don’t hold the salt! When I lived in Brazil, I didn’t have a microwave, and I was making pots of popcorn on the stove. Yes, I can pause a film for more popcorn.
What is your favourite apple, and why? Eating apple: Fuji. They are simply the best –crisp and sweet and full of flavour! Cider apples? I have two: the Calville Blanc d’Hiver, when we press them (it may be strange, but I could watch that those apples be pressed all day). The bright yellow colour of the juice is incredible. The other, Porter’s Perfection, is a heritage cider apple. It is amazing for cidermaking, and can often be found conjoined in sets of two (or sometimes three or four!), making it a very unique-looking apple.
What is your favourite South-Okanagan/Similkameen activity? Hiking. We are lucky to live in such a gorgeous valley with plenty of places to explore. Though I do not get out as much as I would like, I seize the opportunity at any chance I can get.
Describe your dream meal: Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, without a doubt. I would eat it every day if I could, and I’m talking every meal! Even as snack between meals. It is a traditional Portuguese New Year’s Eve dish…though, of course, I need my grandma to make it more than once a year. In short description, it is a casserole of bacalhau (salted cod), potatoes, eggs, olives, olive oil, and onions. I will admit, I have never attempted to make it…I feel like it needs to be left up to the expert. Plus who doesn’t like Grandma’s cooking!?
What is your favourite food or wine film, and why? I cannot say I have a favourite food or wine film but am looking forward to the Devour! Film Fest and creating a list!