The Eastern Townships are fertile ground for grape growers. Most the region is on the same parallel as central France and Northern Italy. The St-Lawrence valley is a fertile region where many crops make Quebec an agricultural giant in North America. A visit to Quebec’s vineyards is a must.
Types of Wine
Winters are harsh but milder than they used to be. But it does make for a limited growing season. Vineyards have to accomplish in 7 to 8 months what other growers in other countries do in 12 months. Wine growers of Quebec started growing cold resistant varieties. Some of the most resilient grapes are the Seyval Blanc, Marechal Foch, De Chaunac, Frontenac and Vidal among others.
The climate is also great for ice wines, late harvest wines and sparkling wines as well. Since the 1980’s vineyards have greatly matured along with the vines. Producing heartier reds as well.
One of the most popular and accessible wine routes near the US (New York-Vermont-New-Hampshire and Maine) border is the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route.
It winds to about 140 kilometers (about 120 miles or so) in the Eastern Townships. The route connects you to 20 wineries. These wineries account for 60% of Quebec’s wine production.
You can plan your itinerary here at la Route des Vins. They have 4 routes for you to choose from. Some are pre-planned to optimize your travel time. Lodging suggestions are offered as well should you wish t stay in the region overnight.
If cycling is your thing, they also have cycling itineraries. The pastoral and rural settings are peaceful and magical.
Some of our favorites wineries are: La Bauge, L’Orpailleur, Cep D’Argent and Mission. You can see the list here.
Beyond the wineries, there are fromageries, microbreweries, cider houses and spas. The townships are sure to please the most ardent foodies.
Make it a long weekend in the spring, summer and fall. During the winter make a winery tour a part of your ski trip adventure.
So make sure to visit Quebec vineyards on your next trip to “La Belle Province”.