Co-owners Melanie and Jake Eelman both grew-up on small family farms in northern Nova Scotia. Upon completing their education in the fields of chemistry and public administration, work took them to central Canada for nearly a decade. With the addition of two young boys, Samuel and Oliver, the Eelman family had a goal to return to their Nova Scotia roots. Upon returning to the province, Melanie became an award-winning cider-maker and Jake focused his efforts in supporting Canadian agriculture. Their dreams came full-circle with the purchase of 21 acres of beautiful farm land in the Annapolis Valley in 2017. Inspired by the beautiful wide-open sky above and the long history of the land, they called the property Beausoleil, which means “beautiful sun” in French.
Building on the rich farming history around them in pomiculture and viticulture and the pioneers in wine and cider-making in Nova Scotia, Melanie and Jake are excited to be working closely together as a family. Their goal is to establish Beausoleil Farmstead as a boutique cidery and winery that is anchored in their philosophy of combining sustainable farming with cellar experimentation.
Upon purchasing Beausoleil Farmstead in 2017, they immediately set about preparing the land for grapes and rejuvenating the old apple trees that dotted the property. While the land had been actively farmed for over 200 years there was a lot that needed to be done. Over the next two years tile drainage was added to ensure appropriate water flow, the soil was rebalanced with additions of lime, and cover crops were added to break-up and renew the land.
In 2019, 8 acres of vineyard were established with additional plantings in 2020. Six grape varieties have been planted in total to reflect the climate and terroir of the property: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, L’Acadie Blanc, Baco Noir, Frontenac Blanc and Frontenac Gris.
Guests are encouraged to explore the vineyard and the property which also features walking trails and a pond. You will notice on your exploration of the farmstead that in addition to the vineyard there are a variety of old apple trees that are a legacy of the rich agricultural history. Our goal is to expand our orchard of apple trees and to incorporate them fully into our ciders.
Vinous ciders are an emerging category in both the cider and wine worlds. They are an intriguing integration of apples and wine grapes that are crafted from either co-fermentation or by fermenting separately and blending after fermentation is complete. These exciting creations are complex and elegant with refreshing liveliness and fruit-forward aromatics.