Must-Visit Wine and Cheese Stops in Quebec
Just an hour away from the bustling Montreal, Quebec’s Eastern Townships – situated between the St. Lawrence River and the US border – provide a veritable smorgasbord of the most incredible wineries, fromageries, and eateries. This countryside getaway will satisfy each of your senses: taste the delicious vintages and cheeses, see the incredible beauty of the surrounds, touch the fertile earth, smell the mouth-watering cuisine, and hear the stories of the hospitable and friendly Québécois people. If that wasn’t enough, each of these stops are a mere stone throw away from the top Quebec casino resorts – Casino de Mont-Tremblant, Casino de Charlevoix, and Casino du Lac-Leamy.
Vignoble de l’Orpailleur
Vignoble de l’Orpailleur, situated in Dunham, is the Eastern Township region’s pioneer vineyard, having earned over 130 medals since it was first established in 1982 by Hervé Durand, Charles-Henri de Coussergues, Pierre Rodrigue, and Frank Furtado. Witness passion in action at this spectacular vineyard and learn how to open a bottle of Quebec brut with a saber, as well as how harvesting frozen grapes in January leads to icewine. A tour of the vineyard and cellars is a must, followed by a wine-food pairing at the estate’s French inspired restaurant, Le Tire-Bouchon headed by chef Gérald Loiselle.
Auberge & Spa West Brome
Set on the charming farmland estate of Auberge & Spa West Brome, we suggest starting out at Le Bistro, the restaurant run by chef Ugo-Vincent Mariotti, although you’ll likely have trouble focusing on AFL Premiership betting once presented with his cuisine. The sommelier and maître d’, Benoît LaJeunesse, will present you with rare vintages while regaling you with stories of the winemakers, such as Léon Courville who grows the St-Pépin varietal – hearty enough to flourish during Quebec’s frozen winters. Be sure to indulge in the delicious wine-food pairings before retiring to one of the auberge’s gorgeous suites where you can watch the sun set over the pastures from your secluded balcony.
Vignoble Les Pervenches
Véronique Hupin and Michael Marler, a husband and wife duo, operate the eco-certified vineyard of Vignoble Les Pervenches near Farnham. Even though they only have 7 acres of vineyards, they are still significant vintners having pioneered the first chardonnay grown in Quebec. With an intense focus on the sustainability of their crops and wines, limited sulphites are added to the final product and their wine is available exclusively from the vineyard. Be sure to ask how they first composed their first chardonnay, as you sure to gain new appreciation for their innovation and dedication to their craft.
Fromagerie La Station
Fromagerie La Station, based in Compton, has for 4 generations created dairy products from organic, raw milk and the proof of their dedication to their land and cows is in the subtle, yet complex flavour profiles of their eco-certified cheeses. Specialising in firm and semi-firm cheeses, all of which are meticulously aged and washed for 2-24 months, the red peppercorn raclette is a must-try, as well as the Alfred – their first cheese – which was named after the current generation’s great-grandfather.