When you think of fall in Quebec, one of the first things that probably come to mind - after big cozy sweaters - is apple picking. If you're into apple picking, good for you (some of you know my feelings on apple picking), but honestly, I'd much rather drink my apples. And I'm talking about apple juice - I'm talking about that sweet sweet nectar that is Quebec cider.
Quebec cider comes in many varieties and has worldwide renown as some of the best cider to ever exist. Cider is one of the most historic drinks in the province and comes with a cherished legacy that family-owned cider houses have maintained for generations.
The first-ever apple trees were planted in the 1600s by French colonial settlers. Bringing over ancient cider brewing traditions from Europe, apple cider was one of New France's favourite drinks.
Today, Quebec cider is primarily produced in the Montérégie, Eastern Townships, Chaudière-Appalaches, the Laurentians, Charlevoix, and Quebec City regions.
To bring awareness to the many incredible cider houses, the government has promoted several "Cider Tours" that take you on a journey through Quebec's apple orchards to taste some of the best cider in the province.
We've come up with our own little cider tour that you can take with your friends! Here are the 11 best cider houses in Quebec to get you in the mood for fall.
Cidrerie Verger Bilodeau
Where: 1868, chemin Royal, Saint-Pierre-Île-d'Orléans
Over 3,000 apple trees and several cider varieties await you at the sprawling and gorgeous Cidrerie Verger Bilodeau.
Where: 150, chemin Richford, Frelighsburg
Known worldwide for its incredible ice cider, Domaine Pinnacle
Cidrerie Michel Jodoin
Where: 1130, La Petite-Caroline, Rougemont
Don't miss your chance to take a tour of one of the most famous cideries in the province.
Cidrerie Verger Lacroix
Where: 649, chemin Principal, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac
Since 1879, the Lacroix family has been producing some of the most expertly-crafted ciders in Quebec.
Ferme Black Creek
Where: 2638, montée de Rockburn, Hinchinbrooke
As a relatively new player in Quebec's cider culture, Ferme Black Creek is a small yet ambitious family farm that produces "England-style" dry cider.
Cidrerie Verger Pedneault
Where: 3384, Des Coudriers, L'Isle-aux-Coudres
On the banks of a small island off the coast of Baie-Saint-Paul, Cidrerie et Verger Pedneault has been producing exquisite cider since it first opened in 1918.
Vignoble & Cidrerie Coteau Rougemont
Where: 1105, La Petite-Caroline, Rougemont
The renowned Rougemont apple is the key ingredient in Coteau Rougemont's cider process and for decades, this family-owned orchard has been producing some of the finest ciders (and wines) in the province.
Cidrerie Verger Léo Boutin
Where: 710, rang de la Montagne, Mont St-Grégoire
You'll be more than happy to spend your day sampling a dozen ciders that this incredible cider house produces.
Domaine De Lavoie
Where: 100, rang de la Montagne, Rougemont
Winner of over 100 international awards, Domaine de Lavoie is known as one of the finest cider houses in Quebec.
C.E. Petch Cidrerie & Distillerie
Where: 431, Route 202, Hemmingford
Known for its magnificent ice cider, C.E. Petch is the perfect excursion not only during fall but winter too.
La Cidrerie Du Minot
Where: 376, Chemin Covey Hill, Hemmingford
Many of us have already sampled this wonderful cideries' "Mystique" cider and if you already love it, definitely plan a trip to the source of your favourite locally-produced cider.