Cideries worth a road trip in Ontario
With over 15 different varieties of apples grown locally from the shores of Lake Ontario to the Georgian Bay coast, cider has become a year round favourite beverage.
Refreshingly crisp in summer, tart and tasty in fall and warm and spicy in winter, cider has no off-season and is best enjoyed amidst the picture-perfect landscapes and orchards.
Here are some cideries to visit in Ontario and what makes them ideal for your next road trip.
Holding its own among wine making heavyweights in Prince Edward County, Loch Mór Cider Company has been producing beautiful European-inspired ciders since 2017.
The name “Loch Mór” is Irish Gaeilge for “Great Lake,” pairing the traditional origins of ciders with the one-of-a-kind Lake Ontario you can view from the cidery’s al fresco dining space. If you love a good dry cider, try Pommeau – it’s a delicious barrel-aged fortified cider, perfect with a platter of cheese.
For something a little different, head to Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery just north of Bala, in the heart of Muskoka. Famous for their signature cranberry wines, cider lovers will be delighted to sample Cliff Jump Cranberry Cider, which combines Ontario apples with Muskoka grown cranberries to create an unforgettable taste of summer.
In the fall, the equally popular Cranberry Plunge with Muskoka Lakes Farm cranberry sausage on a bun is a must. There’s more delicious food and drink on the menu at McArthur House Cafe, so make it a day trip and explore the nearby Cranberry Hiking Trails.
Location: 1074 Cranberry Road, Bala
North of Port Perry, overlooking Lake Scugog, Applewood Farm Winery is a family-run farm specializing in lovingly crafted fruit wines, Meade and ciders.
Pick your own apples and strawberries before heading to the tasting room for their delicious cider made from the same farm-grown ingredients, like the Strawberry Rhubarb Cider.
Location: 2055 Saintfield Road
Spirit Tree Estate is a complete foodie experience, offering a wide range of both sweet and hard ciders along with a fantastic on-site bakery and bistro. Don’t miss their Applelager, a cider made with lager yeast and a hint of caramel. It pairs brilliantly with their fresh-made wood-oven pizzas.
Location: 1137 Boston Mills Road, Terra Cotta
Voted the Best Cider in Ontario multiple times, West Avenue is a sweet treat, with onsite Farm Store and Bakeshop at Somerset Orchards. Their artisanal ciders are made from heritage apples grown in their own orchards, keeping the profile of traditional country flavours. It is worth the visit for their monthly specials, which are seasonally inspired and exclusive to the Cider House.
While West Avenue’s range of classic ciders is always popular, you can’t go past the Legend of the Fall, inspired by Spanish sidras. Located on the outskirts of Hamilton, West Avenue Cider House also offers a 3-bedroom cottage for guests to stay on the property – talk about a sweet deal.
Location: 84 Concession Road 8 East, Freelton
Come for the novelty, stay for the delicious dry ciders. Spy Cider House has fully embraced its theme, from the clean lines and modern architecture to the stylish cider and spirits bar.
You’ll find the Cider House tucked among the scenic fields and orchards of Georgian Bay. Book ahead for the Spartan Experience, which is a nicely appointed trailer complete with fireside seating and food pairings for your ciders. The Nest Experience can be booked for the upper floors of the distillery, with views of the landscape outside.
Location: 808108, Side Road 24, Clarksburg
Set on a 20 hecatre property in Lambton Shores, Twin Pines produces its own cider apples and berries as well as a large selection of other fruits and vegetables. Enjoy tasting the variety of traditional hard ciders, as well as perry and apple wine.
Despite its size and accolades, Twin Pines Orchards and Cider House remains an unassuming local favourite. You can find it hidden away on the edges of Lake Huron, less than an hour’s drive from London.
Location: 8169 Kennedy Line, Thedford
This dog-friendly estate was borne out of a passion for wine, ciders and dogs.
Named after the nearby Lake Erie, this boutique family owned winery crafts small batch wines and ciders. You won’t mind a stop in the proverbial Dog House or drinking this hard cider of the same name made from golden russet apples with fresh Ontario Citra Hops.
Grab a glass and take your pup for a self-guided tour through the orchard. During summer, the Hounds of Erie celebrates the ‘Dog Days of Summer,’ with special events dedicated to a different dog breed each Sunday. Tickets are free but limited; head to the Hounds of Erie Facebook page for more details.
Last updated: September 13, 2023