Who knew beautiful vineyard getaways were right at your doorstep? I sure didn’t!
Quebec has beautiful wine regions that are actually quite well known (not for the social wine drinkers such as myself). La Mission Vignoble for example, perhaps you have heard of it, which is one that is pretty well known, available information can be found on Sezmu.com
Here is how I discovered what they call “La route des vins”. My good friend Karina purchased a 2 hour wine tour for two people for 22$ on one of these coupon websites. The coupon was for Vignoble Chapelle Ste-Agnes. We thought we would make a weekend out of it, since we were going to have to drive all the way to Sutton which is about 2 hours away, and since we were planning on taking advantage of the wine tastings, we were definitely not going to be in shape to drive home. So, we decided to book a quaint little bed & breakfast and enjoy our stay in Sutton! Gite B&B Vert Le Mont is where we stayed by the way. Very beautiful old home and extremely hospitable owners, and not to mention the breakfast was out of this world. They were the ones who gave all the information we needed about all the hidden vignobles!
The tour at Chapelle Ste-Agnes could not have been better. It was a beautiful, breezy summer day and the vignoble was breathtaking. It has many sites to see. Its most famous site is its historical stone chapel where they host many weddings. Their reception hall is stunning. Not to mention their picturesque man-made lake in the shape of a heart! I told myself that it would definitely be a consideration when picking out my wedding venue.
The tour was very intimate led by John who is the son of the owner, Henrietta Antony. A true business woman we quickly learned. The vignoble is full of antique, historical pieces, all with stories behind them which she handpicked herself. The tour ended with a wine tasting of their selected wines. The wines they make are on the pricier end.
We soon enough discovered that there were 16 wineries surrounding the area! So we decided to spend the entire next day driving from vignoble to vignoble sampling our local wine. I quickly discovered that Quebec is known for their ciders which I was not aware of!
Most vignobles offered free tastings, others you had to pay one dollar for each tasting. Regardless, my friend bought a bottle or two at each site! She was proud to have so many local wines! My favourite wine that I bought for myself was from Vignoble Les Trois Clochers. It was called “Les Trois Clochers blanc en fût de chêne”. The reason why I liked it so much was because it was nothing like anything I have ever tasted before in a white wine. It had a wood taste to it and it was delicious. The wood taste was so prominent and unique. They leave the wine to age in oak barrels which give it that special savour. I regret only buying one bottle. It’s nice to have resources such as sezmu.com to be able to locate such specialty wines!
To wrap up the whole experience, the owner from Vignoble Clos Sarguenet, who happens to have been the one to plant the first apple tree to make Quebec’s famous apple cider in 1989 (he is from France) told us about a hidden cheese factory that we could find on the way home in Saint-Jean de Richilieu.
He persuaded us to go because he claimed that for about 5 dollars, we would get an enormous amount of different cheeses to enjoy. Who would pass that up! Sure enough, our helpful GPS helped us find the path through the country roads to find this little place called heaven! It was called “Au Gre Des Champs” and boy was it worth it! For five dollars each, we each got a plate full of cheeses, crackers, nuts etc. Too much for one person to handle! But I enjoyed every last bite of it. If any of you happen to be around the area, I would definitely recommend a pit stop. There is an interesting history behind the factory as well.
So, my fellow wine lovers, if you’re looking for a nice, local, not too pricey weekend getaway, I highly recommend La route des vins in Sutton. There is so much to see. Not only are the vignobles enough to keep you busy, but all the local farmers markets, fruit farms, quaint villages to stroll around in are enough to fill up your whole weekend with great adventure!