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Cidrerie Michel Jodoin

Interviews

Cidrerie Michel Jodoin: A beautiful family story

You’d be right in referring to Cidrerie Michel Jodoin as a perfectly balanced blend of a legacy that continues to grow, a passionate team, an owner who’s also a bon vivant, and products you’ll only find here in Quebec. It’s easy to see why this slice of paradise is the pride of Rougemont!

Published on July 11, 2023

Right here - Cidrerie Michel Jodoin

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While prepping for my spring tour with the SAQ, it was Mother Nature who was calling all the shots—everything had to sync up perfectly with apple blossom season. And we didn’t miss the mark! 

We headed to Rougemont—the apple capital of the province—and more specifically to Rang La Petite-Caroline. There, my eyes feasted on a field of whitish-pink flowers that stretched into what seemed like infinity, this gorgeous natural landscape overhung by the mountains that define the Eastern Townships. It’s hard to believe that I had never set foot in this precious place before, despite having driven past so many times. 

The Japanese have their cherry blossoms and here in Quebec, we have apple blossoms that are just as stunning. While those in the land of the rising sun draw huge crowds, in Canada there’s less buzz—but they evoke just as much wonder. To catch a glimpse for yourself, head over to Rougemont, where you’ll find the highest concentration of apple orchards in the region.

"The Michel Jodoin cider house has been in the family for four generations. This amazing journey began with my great-grandfather, Jean Baptiste," owner Michel said. Wanting an orchard to call his own, Jean Baptiste had been eyeing Rang La Petite-Caroline for a long time. One Sunday in October 1901, he purchased the orchard that would become Cidrerie Michel Jodoin—for $1,500.  

His son, Ernest, had 13 children, most of whom worked in the apple business, too. He and Jean Baptiste would regularly travel by horse to Bonsecours Market to sell their harvest. "Today, it would probably be faster to ride a horse than cross the Champlain Bridge by car," said Michel, laughing.

"Ernest sold part of his land to my father, who then left it to me," he continued. "My son, Philippe, is very involved in the business now and works hard planting new apple varieties for our ciders. We’re constantly collaborating to develop ciders with organoleptic properties, which refers to the sensory experience you get from the smell, texture and flavour of the product. It’s a different direction from the last 35 years, and I’m really excited to see what comes of these varieties in the next 5 years."

“Here, we specialize in bubbly cider, crafted using the traditional method. We of course make non-sparkling ciders as well, plus sparkling ciders for chains and the SAQ, but I’m here to tell you that I’m a big bubbles guy! We love the stuff! We make rosés, golden ciders, corked ciders made using the traditional method—this produces fine bubbles. It’s something that really sets us apart from the rest of the industry.”  

“Every generation leaves its mark on the family project. My son brings his expertise to the table to orient us towards an increasingly organic production. So, when the weather cooperates and we’re able to, we produce organically. As a result, the orchard becomes more resilient to the local environment and we use water more sparingly.”

“What really warms my heart is how the business just keeps going, how the next generation has taken up the torch and ran with it, and how the employees are part of the adventure too. I believe that we can be proud of everything we do on Rang La Petite-Caroline in Rougemont.”

Whether you’re coming to admire the apple blossom show, pick up a few specialty products, or meet the jolly and passionate business owner himself, Cidrerie Michel Jodoin is an absolute must-see next time you find yourself in Montérégie.

micheljodoin.ca

1130 rang La Petite Caroline
Rougemont QC  J0L 1M0
450-469-2676

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