author: Jeff Bray
Hinterland specializes in a clean, refreshing sparkling wine, so it comes as no surprise that they produce a great cider too. Their Cherry Cider blends 5% fresh, organic cherries with a selection of Ontario apples and the result is a cider that is reddish-orange to the eye, carries a delightful nose of apple pie, followed by a crisp, clean finish that’s acidic and dry. Count me in!
Hinterland Wine Company
1258 Closson Rd., Hillier
Apple Falls’ tiny cider house looks more like a garden shed than a production facility. Yet out of this shed flows a new cider called Hopped – the result of a daringly delicious collaboration with fellow PEC producers, Pyramid Ferments – that combines cider from apples sourced from Campbell’s Orchards along with raspberries, hops and kombucha for a clean, light, and refreshing new taste.
Apple Falls Cider Co.
1633 County Rd. 3, Carrying Place
Meet the County’s heavyweight cidery. The County Cider Company has been making award-winning ciders for over 20 years. Set on one of the County’s most stunning properties, complete with century-old tasting barns, the County Cider Company also houses an on-site restaurant that offers al fresco dining. I prefer the original Waupoos Premium Cider, which is dry and complex and can be imbibed anywhere, although nothing beats sipping one on the patio overlooking orchards that have been lovingly tended since 1850.
The County Cider Company
657 Bongards Crossroad, Waupoos
To the best of my knowledge, Ryan and Nicole Monkman of FieldBird Cider are producing the first still, or non-sparkling, cider in the area. With a robust expression of terroir, their 2017 Northern Spy starts like a bright dry Riesling and then becomes more complex and layered in a way I’ve never experienced before. Drink it cold to quench your thirst, pair it with something spicy or enjoy on its own at room temperature to unleash even more depth of flavour.
49 Hubbs Creek Rd., Wellington
Bruno Francois and Jens Korberg put as much care into the craft of cider making as they do with their popular wines. The Old Third Vineyard’s 2015 Golden Russet Sparkling Cider – or Cuvée Yquelon – is a nod to Bruno’s grandfather who owned an orchard in Yquelon, Normandy where he made cider and calvados. The bubbles for their cider are created using the ‘méthode traditionelle’ – the same method used in France to produce Champagne – resulting in a sparkling, bone-dry cider that is a great expression of County terroir.
The Old Third Vineyard
251 Closson Rd., Hillier
Empire’s cider maker, Chris McRae, is a purist. He crafts a traditional cider with six apple varieties from orchards in the area and locally-sourced honey. The cider is unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-carbonated. While some cider aficionados may refer to this drink as ‘liquid sunshine,’ I call it clean, sharp and refreshing.
Empire Cider Co.
222 Old Wooler Rd., Codrington
Clafeld Cider is the pet project of Amy Baldwin, the award-winning winemaker who also works across the road at sister company Waupoos Estates Winery. Amy is playful with her ciders – I sense she’s expressing something with cider that might not be possible with wine. The standout for me is Hey Lady, made from 100% property apples, juiced and poured over Baco Noir skins, resulting in a complex cider with notes of cherry and raspberry.
Clafeld Fruit Winery & Cider House
3013 Prince Edward County Rd. 8, Waupoos