Par le 26 September 2017
Montérégie is also the region par excellence for Québec-made cider. Louis Hébert, an apothecary and grocer, and considered the first New France settler, had planted the first apple tree in Québec. As a great many of the first settlers were from Normandie, they had brought with them the know-how in cider production from their region in France, which has very few vineyards. Starting in the 17th century, important orchards were rapidly developed in the Québec region, and soon in the Montréal area and Montérégie.
Facing fierce competition from the beer and wine industries than had arrived from the British colonies after the Conquest of 1760, and the boycott on cider in favour of the Prohibition debates, production and commercialization of cider became legal again only in 1970. Today, there are forty cider-makers producing more than one hundred varieties of the cider-based alcoholic beverage. At the turn of the 90s, a new product appeared, ice cider, a great Québec specialty which you can find at most cider houses in the region. More recently, another unknown product appeared on the market, the exquisitely gentle pear ice wine.
Although Rougemont remains known as the capital of the apple and its by-products, each of the Montérégie hills in the Richelieu valley have orchards with cider houses, whether in Mont-Saint-Hilaire or Mont-Saint-Grégoire. In the Yamaska valley, the Mont-Yamaska also offers a nice selection of the product. In the north side of the region, from Brome-Missisquoi to Haut-Saint-Laurent, the orchards are numerous and the houses produce a wide range of ciders, such as in Dunham, where the cider house Union libre specializes in fire cider, or in Franklin, where Entre Pierre & Terre offers a wide variety of berry flavoured ciders as well as pear ice wine.