Culture & Entertainment

3 Quebec wineries to tour this summer

By: Stephanie Zolis
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

3 Quebec wineries to tour this summer

By: Stephanie Zolis
Courtesy Vignoble les Pervenches Quebec might not be the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of Canadian wine—the Okanagan Valley and Niagara Peninsula are, quite frankly, the country’s most popular wine regions—but La belle province can compete with the best of them. With six wine-producing regions in total (the Wine Route of the Eastern Townships, and the Lanaudière valley, to name a couple), Quebec’s many mountains and valleys provide a variety of climates for producing a wide range of varietals, most notably, the icewines and dessert wines of cooler temperatures. Taste some of Quebec’s best vinos by visiting one of the following vineyards this summer. Situated between the St. Lawrence River and Laurentian Mountains, the Lanaudière valley is Quebec’s fastest-growing wine region despite its proclivity to reach -40 C temperatures during the coldest months. While not as dense with wineries compared to Brome-Missisquoi, the region offers a few estates worth checking out. Carone, a limited-production vineyard, was the first in the province to receive international recognition for its reds. Just last month, Carone’s Rosso Classico, a medium-bodied red wine made of four different grape varieties, took home double gold at the Canadian Wine Championships. Visit the estate’s tasting room and boutique on weekends, from noon to 5 p.m. For those who prefer a self-guided walk through the vineyard over an organized tour, Vignoble les Pervenches offers three hectares of land with views of the Appalachian Mountains. The neighbouring forest of maple trees shields the land from the strong winds of the west, creating a microclimate in the heart of Quebec (known for cooler temperatures than Ontario and British Columbia). The vineyards are mainly comprised of French chardonnay, though you’ll find Seyval blanc, Marechal Foch, Frontenac and Zweigelt varietals, too. Enjoy the certified organic, handharvested wines at a tasting, typically available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than just a winery, Chapelle Ste. Agnès, another Eastern Townships winery, is worthy of a visit for the estate alone. Its medieval-style wine cellars are an underground complex sprawling four levels. Here you’ll see stone barrel vaults built by a master stone cutter from France, as well as a pressing room gallery and tasting halls on two levels. You’ll also want to visit the estate’s stunning Romanesque chapel, which features marble columns and a marble mosaic floor, as well as a number of historical statues and objects. The vineyard itself lies at an ideal altitude above the valley floor, and while warmer than surrounding regions during the day, it produces quality icewines that are handpicked in the winter at -10 C. (Photo courtesy Vignoble les Pervenches)
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Culture & Entertainment

3 Quebec wineries to tour this summer

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