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:

Gilpin is an old U.S. cooking and cider apple best known -- by far -- for its excellent keeping qualities.


The story of Gilpin:

apple_gilpin.jpgThis apple keeps so long, people actually warn that it's not fit to eat until it's been in storage for several months.

In these days of controlled atmosphere storage, where coolers are emptied of oxygen so as to stop their ripening process in its tracks, this might not seem like such a big deal. But it was once a very big deal to have an apple variety that could sit in your cool basement for six months and come out equal (or better) in quality compared to when it went in.

Gilpin -- known in the U.S. South as Carthouse -- is that apple. Not a super-good fresh-eating variety, especially in the early weeks after harvest, this is a good cooker and cider apple, to be sure. And, boy, does it keep well.

Gilpin Facts

Its origins:

Likely raised from a seed in Virginia, USA, sometime before 1817.

Flavour, aroma, texture:

After time in storage, the flesh becomes crisp and tender, fairly juicy and verging on sweet.


A medium-sized, roundish apple with a yellowish background that can be striped with red or entirely red.

When they’re available:

Late season (usually in late October).

Quality for fresh eating:


Quality for cooking:

Good. Also good for cider.

Keeping ability:

Excellent (about 7 months when kept refrigerated).

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Salt Spring Apple Company Ltd.

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