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 17 traditional cider varieties (with a couple of crabs 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

Calville Blanc d'Hiver

Why you should be excited:

One bite of a Calville Blanc d'Hiver and you're transported to 16th century France.

apple_calvilleblancdhiver.jpgThe story of Calville Blanc d'Hiver:

Is Calville Blanc d'Hiver the world's ugliest apple? Well, likely not, as there are some pretty mangled looking varieties out there. But let's be honest: this one isn't going to win a Red Delicious look-alike competition anytime soon.

This is also a notably old variety, although not nearly the oldest in the thousands-of-years history of apples. Still, 1598 was some time ago. And the folks who discovered Calville Blanc d'Hiver in France way back then would be proud to know people are still debating the merits of this misshapen yet sublime apple well over 400 years later.

Calville Blanc d'Hiver may actually be the world's top cooking apple, although folks from across the English Channel may clear their throats politely and subtly point to Bramley's Seedling as their preference in that department.

We've got nothing against Bramley, but wish to point out that Calville Blanc d'Hiver not only holds its shape well when baked; it also delivers a tender, sweet, juicy, delicate, spicy flavour that causes apple aficiandos to swoon. It even has a banana-like aroma, some say.

In addition to its baking excellence, this variety is well known for its incredibly high vitamin C content, greater than that of an orange of similar size, they say.

Sure, it's a dog to look at, sickly pale green in colour sometimes with wonky pox-like red dots on its skin. But those who have been weened of expecting every apple to look symetrical and perfect might just see a rustic beauty to it. And regardless of its looks, the book behind this cover is truly sublime, so we're happy to grow lots and lots of Calville Blanc d'Hiver for folks who know better than to reject an apple at first sight.

Calville Blanc d'Hiver Facts

Its origins:

Discovered in France or maybe Germany, unknown date; first recorded in 1598.

Flavour, aroma, texture:

Tender, sweet, juicy, spicy. Delicate, banana-like aroma. Unusually high in vitamin C.


Dead ugly, some believe. Misshapen, pale green skin colour, sometimes with light red dots.

When they’re available:

Late season (usually toward the end of October).

Quality for fresh eating:

Very good.

Quality for cooking:

Excellent – holds its shape when cooked.

Keeping ability:

So-so (about 1 to 2 months when kept refrigerated).

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Salt Spring Apple Company Ltd.

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