Quebec’s first signed Wine Route, spanning 132 km, was created in 2003. Visitors enjoy great wines, guided tours, local farm products, country picnics, artist workshops, good restaurants, cozy B & Bs and varied cultural activities at local wineries. The Wine Route is located near the American border, at forty minutes south of Montreal, in the Brome-Missisquoi County, gateway to the Eastern townships, bordering the state of Vermont.
Certain wineries along the Route offer package deals during harvest time. A number of accommodations offer deals including a visit to a winery. Please, note than some of the wineries are open year-long but from mid-November to mid-April, it’s best to verify their opening hours before visiting. For bikers, there are three thematic bike routes that cover parts of the Wine Route. However, there are not still any paths exclusively for bikes.
Don’t forget than limits of wine duty-free per person exist, when you enter into the U.S. Please consult the U.S Customs & Border Protection Website for information. Several wineries have picnic tables for your convenience. Certain wineries charge a modest fee for tasting. However most tasting is free with every purchase or are included when you take a guided tour.
A fee is usually required for sampling ice wine since this wine is quite costly to produce. Ice wine is an excellent dessert wine made with grapes that are frozen outside from October to January.
The desiccation of the grapes produces a rich and concentrated juice. While 100kg of grapes gives normally 80 to 85 litres of juice, the volume for ice wine is no more the 12 to 15 litres when pressed at -12 degrees.
Tips to help you through the Wine Route:
- Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne that might mask the taste of wines.
- Don’t chew gum while tasting wine.
- Taste light wine first (for example: white wine before red wine).
- Eat something between visits.
- Don’t exaggerate.
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