Grape-harvesting season, which runs from September to October, is the time of the year when vineyards take on a festive air. You’ll really enjoy being in this area at this particular time, for so many reasons. And just what are these reasons? Here’s a few:
To get a behind-the-scenes look
During the grape-harvesting season, most of the vineyards offer guided tours, and participating vineyards include Château de cartes, vignoble et cidrerie, Vignoble de la Chapelle Ste Agnès (which is made of fieldstones, with medieval-style cellars!) Clos Saragnat, Domaine du Ridge, Léon Courville, vigneron and Vignoble Val Caudalies.
- At Vignoble de l’Orpailleur, the jaunty tour will provide you with the opportunity to learn about sabering a bottle of wine, and you’ll also have the chance to saber a bottle yourself.
- At Vignoble de la Bauge, you can tour the site with the cellar master and discover a whole other aspect of wine producing ($00 per person).
Join in the grape harvesting
During the few weeks the grape harvesting is conducted, you can be totally immersed in the experience by taking part in the gathering of the grapes. Contact the vineyards directly to find out the date of these activities and make reservations.
- At Domaine du Ridge, you can not only harvest the grapes, you can taste 10 different wines and sample some of the local, home-grown products ($39). For a truly special experience, women are invited to stomp the grapes in an old-fashioned winepress. Unlimited rosé wine for participants ($20)!
- The “Vintner for a Day” activity is back at Vignoble de la Bauge on Sunday, October 8. The program includes grape gathering, crushing and pressing. A grilled wild-boar dinner, wine tastings and guided tours are also on the schedule of activities.
- At Vignoble Domaine Bresee, grape harvesting is always a festive occasion and it includes a meal, glass of wine, musical performance, a drawing and an evening campfire to cap the day. This activity will be held on September 16, 23 and 30, starting at 10 a.m.
- UNION LIBRE cidre et vin also has a grape-harvesting day. The activity includes dinner and a complimentary bottle of wine at the end of the day!
Appease your hunger pangs…
Since touring the vineyards works up an appetite, many of the vineyards offer food-related activities during the grape harvesting.
- On weekends, from September 9 to 30, Vignoble Gagliano has a menu featuring pizza, pasta and sausage, depending on the weekend you’re there. Of course, all of this is accompanied by one of their vintage wines.
- On weekends from September through Thanksgiving, you can have free tastings of Vignoble de la Bauge’s grilled wild boar meat.
- The Deux Caribous caterer’s food truck will be parked at UNION LIBRE cidre et vin on some weekend until Thanksgiving.
- Vignoble du Ruisseau will be having many theme-based suppers in Dunham, including a “Vineyard Supper” on September 23 and on October 14.
- Every weekend, in September and October, you can sample some wood-fired oven-baked pizza on the terrace of Château de cartes, vignoble et cidrerie.
- You can have a bite to eat at Tire-Bouchon, the restaurant on the site of l’Orpailleur vineyard.
- You can have a light meal at the Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoise bistro, where you can also see more than 130 outdoor sculptures.
Have a picnic amid the vines
Most of the vineyards along the Wine Route have picnic tables where you can indulge in an outdoor feast. These vineyards include, among others, Vignoble l’Ardennais, Clos Ste-Croix, Vignoble La Mission, Vignoble Gagliano and Val Caudalies. The latter two vineyards can also prepare a picnic hamper for you if you call ahead of time.
Discover new products
The grape harvest season affords a great opportunity to discover the latest vineyard arrival on the Wine Route, La Belle Alliance, in Shefford. It’s an ideal time to discover their products and their grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Vidal and Frontenac.
The Wine Route moves to Mont SUTTON
OK, you might not have the time to tour every one of the vineyards along the Wine Route. Not to worry, simply head to the fall festival at Mont SUTTON, which is on every weekend, from September 16 to October 15. A Wine Route kiosk will be there for you to sample its products. A suggestion: take the chairlift for a breathtaking view of the autumn landscape.
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Important note! Check with the respective vineyards for information about their schedule and the price of their activities, and for reservations, if need be.