Friday, 21 June 2013

Sampling Wineries in the Eastern Townships of Quebec

by Keith and Heather Nicol
     On June 15 we headed out from Ottawa with our sites set on visiting some wineries in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This area is known for its wine route which includes 20 wineries this year. We arrived in the early afternoon and first visited Domaine Vitis Winery ( where we met Pierre Genesse and his daughter Florence. This is definitely a family winery and they have 10 acres under vine and produce 4 wines. Although we arrived by car, another option is to visit by bicycle. We saw 2 couples on tandem bicycles who were cycling from winery to winery.  Pierre told us they are probably best known for their ice wine and we certainly enjoyed its smooth finish. 
Pierre Genesse explains wine production to Heather
 Next we visited the largest wine producer in the province – Vignoble de l’Orpailleur ( ) near the community of Dunham which seems to be at the epicenter of the wine industry in this area.  In addition to a wine tasting boutique L’Orpailleur they have a small museum about wine making and showed us an interesting  video about the wine making process at this winery.   Maryse Blanchard gave us an informative tour of the winery explaining that it was started in 1982 making it one of the oldest in Quebec. She told us that they make 11 wines and their most popular wine is Orpailleur Blanc. “Our ice wine also does well and it has won many awards” she told us with a grin. 
Vignoble de l’Orpailleur is one of the oldest wineries in the Quebec

 From Dunham we headed north to the scenic community of Bromont. This community is a haven for all
We enjoyed our stay at the Auberge Spa Le Madrigal
kinds of activities depending on the season with a ski hill just outside of town and a scenic golf course at its base and many kilometers of cycling trails winding through town. They also have a quaint old village with all kinds of neat shops, restaurants and a chocolate museum which was closed by the time we arrived. It is not everyday that you come across a chocolate museum so we made a vow to return the next morning.  We next ocated our accommodations- Auberge Spa Le Madrigal ( ) where we met the ever smiling owner Sylvie Bedard. She lead us to our room, showed us the outdoor hot tub and asked us when we would like dinner.  Dinner was a typical Quebec  taste sensation and we enjoyed local duck with fresh local asparagus and a delicious seafood risotto. For dessert we had an amazing crème brule and tiramisu. After dinner we enjoyed a soak in the hot tub as fire flies darted in the night sky. A great finish to a perfect day in the Eastern Townships. For more information on the Eastern Townships click:
The Creme Brule was delicious


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