Blenheim-made apple cider named Ontario's finest

An apple cider made in Blenheim was declared the province's finest at the Ontario Cider Competition in Niagara Falls.

Twelve ciders were judged anonymously by a panel of judges

Hector Delanghe is the owner of Delhaven Orchards. Last week, his farm's cider earned top honours at the 2020 Ontario Cider Competition. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

An apple cider made in Blenheim was declared the province's finest at the Ontario Cider Competition in Niagara Falls.

The sweet, non-alcoholic cider from Delhaven Orchards, based in Blenheim, beat out 11 other cider makers to win the title of Ontario's best cider during the competition on Feb. 19.

"The apple cider — we started back in '78 when we had a hailstorm," said owner Hector Delanghe. "We thought, 'This is another way to move some apples' ... As time came along, we built a new processing building for it."

He said eight judges assessed each cider based on aroma, clarity and flavour. Each cider is marked — anonymously — between one and 10.

"We talked to one judge and he said he thought that our aroma on our cider was a real 'apple-y' smell," said Delanghe. "The clarity was good and, of course, the flavour was excellent."


The recipe behind Delhaven's apple cider is "secret," but Delanghe did note that four varieties of apples are used to avoid the cider's flavour being "too sharp."

"You wouldn't want to make it out of McIntosh [apples only]. That would be way too sharp a flavour," he said.

Delanghe said he has no interest in making hard cider on a large scale since "it'd be like starting up a whole new business."

Instead, Delhaven wants to stick to making "one of the best" [ciders] in the province so it can efficiently serve its exisitng customer base.

"In September and October, cider is a hot item. We don't believe in making cider ahead of time because cider has got about a six-week shelf life — so it's got to be made, shipped and drank."

Tap the player below to hear more from Delhaven Orchards owner Hector Delanghe on the CBC's Afternoon Drive:

An apple cider made right here in the southwest has been crowned the best in Ontario. Delhaven Orchard's sweet cider earned top marks at the Ontario Cider Competition last week in Niagara Falls. We spoke to Hector Delanghe, owner of Delhaven Orchards in Blenheim. 5:23


with files from Afternoon Drive


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