Published on Jul 13, 2022
by Tourism Eastern Townships
Sherbrooke, Tuesday, July 12, 2022 – Every year, local winemakers, brewers, mixologists and food producers continue to add to both their alcoholic offerings and tourism attractions. This summer in the Townships is no exception! New microbreweries, vineyards, distilleries and cider houses are springing up in all directions. Clink your glasses at some of the region’s most scenic locations and let you palate feel the pleasure of a slew of interesting flavours….
Immerse yourself in the world of cider
Ferme Cidrile Équinoxe in Farnham is the first apple orchard-cum-cider maker in Quebec that employs eco-friendly, sustainable techniques to manage its farm. Visitors have the choice of seven different craft ciders and they can enjoy tastings (on a brand-new terrace), guided tours of the orchard and the cider-making area, as well as picnic baskets filled with tasty products from three local restaurants - La Famille Buvette, L'Archipel and Passe-Montagne. You can pick your own apples and fruit from 3,500 organically-grown trees.
Le brasseur fou in Cookshire-Eaton
Le brasseur fou (roughly translated as ‘The mad brewer’) is located within Hotel Sawyerville, a historic, 150-year-old building in Cookshire-Eaton, in the Haut-Saint-François region. One of two new microbreweries that are part of the Brasseurs de Cantons (a network of Townships breweries), the brasseur fou not only makes beer, it serves food featuring regional ingredients. The establishment also plays host to shows and special events, lending a festive ambience to this venerable establishment.
L’Ardoise – a brewing cooperative
Another member of the Brasseurs des Cantons network is L'Ardoise, a recently established microbrewery and work cooperative in Richmond. It offers tastings of several types of beer, as well as meals, served in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere on a bright, lively terrace.
Sherbrooke’s boozy history!
An exhibition entitled À la votre (Cheers!) documenting the evolution of booze, covering the production, distribution, sales and consumption of alcohol in Quebec over the past 150 years, is currently running at the Sherbrooke History Museum (June 21-October 23). As well, at the nearby Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum, there is Broue, l’homme des tavernes. Themed around a long-running (and wildly popular) stage show, this exhibition will transport you into the imaginary world of taverns and their amusing regulars (until September 5).
New wineries will welcome visitors
This summer, several new vineyards will be ready to welcome tourists and wine connoisseurs! (It takes several years before grapes get to the stage where they are ready for bottling.) Domaine Girouard in Sutton, for example, which employs traditional and modern methods of making wine, is offering tastings in its boutique. Domaine ValBrome (Lac-Brome) is offering visitors the opportunity to pick their own grapes. The winery’s products are available onsite.
Like the other wineries, Vignoble la Manse in Roxton Pond has a boutique. It also happens to be surrounded by a picturesque parcel of land where wine lovers can wander around the vineyards, ponds and relaxation areas, as well as along the 2.5-km Sentier des Érables walking trail. Sipping a glass of wine on the shore of a peaceful stretch of water, is a wonderful way to unwind! Last, but not least, is the Vignoble Les Farfelus in Melbourne (region of Val-Saint-François). Finally open in 2021, this establishment make fortified white, red and rosé wines.
New owners and a new name
The Domaine Dumont Chapelle Ste-Agnès winery was sold this spring and the new owners are renaming it Château Ste-Agnès. There will be activities organized on site, a boutique and the usual wine tastings. Gourmet food will be offered with an chef who will prepare a four-course country-style meal or a ‘luxury’ picnic (to name a few of the options).
An ‘effervescent’ experience at Domaine Bergeville!
This summer, Domaine Bergeville will offer workshops with a sommelier who explains the mysteries of producing sparkling wines….The winery also offering tastings and tours of the vineyard. (Every Saturday. Reservations essential.)
A slew of attractions at Vignoble La Vallée des nuages
Tastings, country-style meals, a boutique selling gourmet produce and guided tours, are just some of the attractions at this bucolic site of 8,000 vines and some 100 fruit trees. Children, in particular, will delight in seeing the variety of domestic animals raised in this ‘Valley of the clouds” – rabbits, ducks, geese, quails, partridges, hens, pigs, calves, cows and horses.
Along the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route
The Vignoble de la Bauge is offering tours themed around organic wine making and regenerative viticulture. Cheesemakers, chefs, market gardeners and fishmongers will be invited to wine-oriented events to discuss the secrets of their professions as they prepare some tasty dishes!
Vignoble de l'Orpailleur is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year in grand style! It recently acquired Union Libre, a wine and cider producer (and first producer in Quebec of ‘fire’ cider). The winery is also organizing a number of special activities, such as a guided tour with winemaking pioneer (and owner) Charles-Henri De Coussergues. Italy will be front and centre at Vignoble Gagliano, which will be offering the usual wine tastings and traditional, wood-fired pizzas.
Guided tours of the Chaufferie Distillery
The Distillerie de la Chaufferie in Granby is expanding the concept of Les Visites de La Chaufferie in a fun way. Visitors will be able to learn about ‘circular agriculture’ (farming with nature) by talking to the beverage makers and visiting the production site. A cocktail tasting made with local ingredients rounds out the tour of the premises. Famed mixologist Claudia Doyan, who will prepare the celebratory drink, has won awards at the Gala des Lauriers de la gastronomie québécoise in the category of “Mixology and bartender of the year”!
New distillery in the Megantic region
All kinds of drinks are on offer at Distillerie du Granit in Saint-Romain. The distillery is run by a group of innovative enthusiasts who base their alcoholic concoctions on pure maple syrup from Saint-Romain.
About Tourism Eastern Townships
Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est (Tourism Eastern Townships) is one of 22 tourism associations (ATRs) in Quebec and the official representative of Quebec's Ministry of Tourism in the Eastern Townships. Since 1978, the TCE’s mission has been to promote tourism development, marketing the region within Quebec and internationally. TCE brings together more than 500 members throughout the 9 regional county municipalities (MRCs) and in all sectors of the tourism industry : accommodation, restaurants, attractions, activities and events.
The Eastern Townships is the fourth most popular tourist destination in Quebec. The region attracts some 10 million visitors every year, accounting for 6.5 million overnight stays and spending more than $900 million annually. The tourism sector is also the region’s fourth largest employer, accounting for 20,000 jobs.