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Cidrerie et Distillerie C.E.Petch: 100 years of passion

Interviews

Cidrerie et Distillerie C.E.Petch: 100 years of passion

“The apple trees right behind me were planted by my great-grandfather 100 years ago,” said owner Justin Petch before biting into a Cortland apple he picked along our walk.

Published on August 24, 2023

Justin Petch belongs to the fourth generation of growers who tend the orchard at Cidrerie et Distillerie C.E.Petch in Hemmingford. He currently shares duties with his dad. The orchard recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020—how’s that for a milestone! Yet the success and longevity of this family business comes as no surprise once you see the love everyone pours into their work. 

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“I was born here. The orchard and the land have been in my blood since I was a little kid.”

- Justin, propriétaire de la Cidrerie C.E. Petch

Justin’s great-grandfather found this peaceful little haven in Hemmingford around 1918. Though he had no prior connection to apples, he was enchanted by the breathtaking horizon and the orchards as far as the eye could see.


Charles Edgar Petch—the originator of the name C.E.Petch—quickly fell in love with farm life. Who would have thought that 100 years later, his orchard (and now cider house) would become a go-to destination in Quebec? Over time, the business was passed down from generation to generation, with each family adding their own personal touch to the art of cultivating the best apples possible, building a place that brings people together, and offering a variety of products and activities to suit every taste.

Justin told me that people who come for a first visit often end up returning every year with their children and even their grandchildren. “That’s what’s amazing about having a century-old family business—you get to see your customers’ lives unfold, too. They grow up, they get older, you meet their children. It really is something!” 

An attentive and enthusiastic team. A location that’s the real deal. Quality products that are crafted with care. A warm and inviting atmosphere. These are what make this place so magical. 

Families enjoy coming here for the quiet, friendly ambience. At the store and on the grounds, everything has been made accessible for visitors of all ages and persuasions. The orchard, which has over 100 varieties of apples, offers lots to see and do—it has a small farm, a tractor that takes you on tours, a market, and a store where you can taste ciders and other apple products. 

People come back for the ciders and the fabulous setting—and for the apple donuts! 

“Our customers make road trips to come stock up on boxes by the dozen so they can freeze them for the winter,” Justin said with a laugh.

Justin’s one true love is clearly producing cider. Though they’ve only had their cider house since 2017, their products have surprised and delighted everyone who’s tasted them.

One of their most popular ciders is the Illicit Apple Pie Moonshine. If you could bottle up a freshly baked pie filled with warm apples that were tossed in cardamom and cinnamon, this is exactly what you’d get. Give this aperitif a try—with one of their apple donuts on the side!

cepetch.ca

431 Route 202
Hemmingford QC J0L 1H0

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