Did you know there are a slew of cideries within less than an hour drive from Toronto? Each offers up a unique, memorable experience — and some seriously delicious sippers. Here’s 3 you need to visit this summer.
West Avenue Cider
Carlisle, Ontario westavenue.ca
Located just north of Hamilton, near the tiny town of Carlisle, Ontario, is Somerset Orchards and the new farm-based tasting room of West Avenue Cider House. Somerset Orchards is set on a picturesque 75 acres close to Carlisle, Ontario, and is home to 16 acres of heritage, heirloom, cider and pear trees. The cider shop opened June of this year, and already local cider lovers have been flocking in droves to this beautiful space to fill growlers and pick up the latest micro-ferment from Cider Maker Chris Haworth. Chris is the top cider maker in the country � a status that was solidified early last year, when West Avenue took home four gold medals and two best-in-class awards at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition in Michigan, the world�s largest cider competition.
Spirit Tree Cider
Headwaters, Ontario spirittreecider.com
Possibly one of our all-time favorites places in Ontario, Spirit Tree Estate Cidery is nestled in the beautiful hills of Headwaters. Cider maker Thomas Wilson churns out some complex, yet very drinkable ciders from their eco-friendly, hay bail facility; while chef Nelson Singh fires off pizzas, breads and other edibles in the wood fired oven that pair perfectly with a flight. We love the hopped cider with the ever changing charcuterie spread, but on our last visit also fell hard for the Pear Lavender Perry. It pairs perfectly with summer sunshine.
Durham Region, Ontario archibaldswinery.com
Fred and Sandy Archibald having been growing apples in Durham Region since 1967 and making fruit wines and ciders for over two decades. They have over 8,000 trees in their orchard, which makes it a beautiful place to visit during blossom season. We especially like their Hard Currant Cider. It’s a sparkling, refreshing blend of tart Ontario Black Currants & McIntosh apples.
Side Note: Pommies Cider
Did you know Pommies Cider was made just outside of the city? Using heritage apples from across Ontario, Nick and Lindsay Sutcliffe are making some seriously crush-able cider. We were recently lucky enough to try their small-batch (like, literally 200 bottles) wild fermented, unfiltered organic cider called “Apple Ridge”. It’s made with a melange of apple varieties, some Nick couldn’t identify himself given their old age, from the Sutcliffe’s farm property. It will never be made the same way again and varies batch to batch. A beautiful expression of our terroir, one you should seek out!
For more information on Ontario’s craft cider makers, visit the Ontario Craft Cider Association over here!