From forbidden fruit to symbol of health, the apple has long occupied a place in our hearts and imaginations. It’s been the subject of songs and expressions, the cause of scientific illumination and a target for some decidedly risky archery. And don’t forget fairy tales: Princesses beware! We now know that the Gauls were very fond of apples and cider, and that their Druids sang their praises for their medicinal virtues.
Ciders and mistelles
Québec’s cider mills and orchards invite you to taste the products of our terroir. Famed for their richness, ciders and mistelles made from Québec apples have captured the public imagination in a way they never have before. Join the bandwagon!
The origin of the apple tree in North America dates back to the early 17th century, when settlers from Normandy—the Gauls’ worthy descendants and skilled cider makers themselves—arrived in New France. Some time around 1650, the Sulpician priests planted Québec’s first apple orchard on Mount Royal and erected its first cider mill.
Missing in action
There was clearly a talent for, and legacy of, cider making in Québec. So why did cider disappear from our tables for years? The answer lies in an oversight: When liquor was legalized in Québec in the 1920s, cider was simply forgotten and remained an illegal beverage. The oversight was corrected in 1970, but cidermakers, in their rush to meet new demand, marketed a sour product made from immature fruit.
A breath of fresh air
Since the 1980s, cider has turned over a new leaf. Producers across Québec have created ciders with organoleptic qualities comparable to wines’ and Champagnes’.