Monday, October 22, 2007

Sideways Quebec-style

Vignoble La Mission, Brigham, Que. (click through to see large)

Yesterday, a couple of friends, my partner and I went on a wine tour of the Quebec's Eastern Townships. Around Granby, Quebec, there are at least a dozen big vineyards. It was a spectacular day in this rolling countryside; the autumn colours were at their height. Indeed, the weather, for the most part, outshone the wine. Some of places, to put it mildly, offered some rather peculiar (i.e. nose-wrinkling) blends. None of red wines -- even one that won a "medaille d'or" -- I would blog home about. But near the end of our tour, we came across a couple of very good as well as picturesquely bucolic wineries, and picked up some excellent white wine, rosé, reinforced (Port-style) wine, and ice wines (a Quebec specialty) as well as cider aperitifs (very much a Quebec tradition) at quite decent prices. (Yes, being tipsy helped put us in a buying mood, but these were definitely good wines...)

If you ever take the wine tour yourself, these are the two places I'd most recommend out of those I saw today: Vignoble la Bauge (#1 on the route), and Vignoble La Mission, pictured above (#10). Vignoble le Cep d'Argent (#3) is also good.

Vignoble les Diurnes, Cowansville, Que. (click through to see large)


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a very nice way to spend a Sunday. It's been so long since I enjoyed a Sunday outing of this magnitude....

Brian Campbell said...

We were lucky we got to La Mission near closing time. The guy who served us, a very exuberant Frenchman who had doubtless had a few himself, seemed to take a special liking to us and didn't just give us little thimble-sized shots, like the other wineries, but half-full glasses even of the most expensive late harvest & ice wines. It was the end of the day, and he had some bottles to empty, I suppose. Or maybe that's the way he does things. Anyway, we returned the favour with more purchases than we expected to make that day. (The photo above, by the way, is from their website -- by then, the sun had just set and it was too late to take my own.)