I can’t believe how much we got out of our very short trip to Quebec’s Eastern Townships! Truly, there is so much concentrated in a small area that we were able to experience the area in two days without feeling rushed or tired. Except for that panicked late afternoon drive into a hurricane, of course. That part was tiring.
One of the things I was most excited about was visiting the wineries of the Eastern Townships. Dotted along a rural route, where our GPS went in and out and we saw more bicycles than cars, we found winery after winery offering degustation, and we were more than happy to take part.
One of the wineries on our itinerary was Vignoble L’Orpailleur, a sprawling country house that held a tasting room, information center, and restaurant.
On this beautiful late summer day, the tasting room was packed with locals and vacationers, and lots of tastings were being poured.
Instead of waiting at the tasting bar, I decided to wander around the winery, which showed, among other things, the cycle of a vine. I’d learned all of this in wine class, and I have seen vineyards at various stages, but it was helpful to see it all in one place.
The crowds in the tasting room didn’t thin, but my hunger started to kick in, and we decided to make use of the conveniently located restaurant, Tire-Bouchon, right next to the tasting room. Although the dining room windows faced the lush vineyards and gardens through vast windows, there really was no discussion about where we wanted to site, outside under the grapevines. The indoor dining room would be amazing in the fall, when everything starts to change color, but it might be too chilly to sit outside.
On this day, we could not say no to the glorious Northern sunshine.
Since we missed the tasting, I decided to have a glass of L’Orpailleur Brut. Made in the traditional Champagne method, the way I prefer my sparkling wine, the Brut had toasty aromas and crisp apple flavors. It was perfect, the view was perfect, my company was perfect. It was one of the best moments of the summer.
We lingered over light lunches, baguette, vegetable soup, and a cheese platter with our wine.
Cheese, wine, bread, and sun? Pretty much sums up our afternoon in the Eastern Townships. No rush, no fuss, just warm hospitality, great food, and a very nice way of life.
We wandered the grounds of the winery and made another attempt at the tasting room which was even more crowded, a pack of people on motorcycles arriving just as we finished lunch. We were happy with the wine we sampled at lunch and decided to save our tasting for our next trip.
What was your most relaxing day this summer?