Salt Spring Apple Co.
Our Apples

Our Top 25

Here they are: our premiere selection of apple varieties. We consider these to be the varieties most likely to consistently produce magnificent and memorable fruit in our Salt Spring Island orchard. Read more


Cider Kings

We definitely don't stop at 25 varieties. In fact, we consider these 29 traditional cider varieties (with a few crab-apples and a diminutive super-juicer thrown in) to be the secret to Real Cider. They're most certainly worth checking out. Read more


The Whole 333+

In a world blessed with thousands of apple varieties, not making our Top 25 or Cider Kings lists is hardly cause for embarrassment. Every one of these 333+ apples is a winner in our books. Read more


Why you should be excited:

Empire is a seedling of McIntosh that many consider to be an improvement on the classic Canadian apple.


apple_empire-2.jpgThe story of Empire:

Sometimes, great things come of terrible events.

For example, Empire came into being after the particularly cold eastern North America winter of 1934.

Almost all the Baldwins and many a McIntosh tree was killed by the big freeze that year, leading folks at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station to plant the seeds of apples from some of the few trees in the region that did survive.

One of those seeds became Empire, an apple reminiscent of McIntosh but with less susceptibility to bruising and better storage ability.

Given that those are the main complaints about the Mac, this is a big deal, indeed.

Empire Facts

Its origins:

Raised as a seedling in Geneva, New York, USA; 1966 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture:

This sweet, aromatic apple has a crisp, clean apple taste reminiscent of McIntosh.


This strikingly pretty apple has a bright red flush.

When they’re available:

Late season (usually in mid-October).

Quality for fresh eating:

Very good.

Quality for cooking:

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability:

Good (up to 3 months when kept refrigerated).

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Salt Spring Apple Company Ltd.

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