On October 1st, I packed my bags, my sister and 2 lovely friends for a girl’s getaway to Blue Mountains, Ontario. There I had arranged tastings at both Thornbury Village and Georgian Hills Vineyards (home of Ardiel cider). The area is about 2 hours away from where I’m currently living so it was a nice long drive filled with fall colours.
Our first stop was Thornbury Village, home of Thornbury cider, wine, and beer! Manager Derek greeted us and gave us a tour of the building which including the private room where we had our tasting. The walls were painted with beautiful info graphics that showed the process of cider making and the delicious apples that go into them. At Thornbury I tasted 5 different ciders: the original apple cider, cranberry-apple, spiced apple, blood orange, wild blueberry elderflower. Derek made sure he gave us a description of each and answered my many questions about Thornbury Cider. We were also graced with the prescience of a lovely charcuterie board. Each cider had a different taste to it but all were incredible in their own unique way. The original apple cider has a nice crisp apple taste, not too much carbonation and is a bit on the dry side. The cranberry apple (one of my favourites) is a bit sweeter but packs the tartness of the cranberry. The spiced apple was definitely the sweetest and it tasted like thanksgiving. This one I’d call a dessert cider, like ice wine, except…well, cider. The blood orange was another one of my favourites. It had a nice summery light flavour that reminded me of orange creamsicles.
Lastly, was the blueberry elderflower. This cider was also light and sweet, although it wasn’t my favourite (due to the flowery taste). After tasting all of the ciders, we took some lovely photos at the Thornbury photo booth. I was also presented with a gracious a box of all of the ciders I tried to take home. Overall the experience at Thornbury was incredible. The staff really care that their customers get an in-cider experience. I was so grateful for the gifts and for the hospitality given by Derek and Thornbury employees. This place is a must visit for anyone going up to the Blue Mountain area and I will definitely be dropping by again!
The next stop on our cider day led us to Georgian Hills Vineyards. We had a short visit at this quiet winery and tasted samples of Ardiel Dry Cider and Big John Hop Cider. I was also able to taste some pear and apple ice wines. Sadly, they were out of the Victorian Pear Cider while I was visiting.
During the rest of the trip, I spent time collecting ciders from the LCBO that I can’t get in Grimsby such as Okanagan (hi, where did you go?), Ernest Blueberry Cider, and a couple others. It’s incredible how the cider selection varies by location. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t just collect the ciders…I did drink them, too, but you’ll have to wait for the reviews on those. I can highly recommend the Blue Mountain area for those looking for a nice quiet getaway and for all the cider lovers out there.