Even though it may seem so very far away, the warm weather is coming back...eventually. And when the sun's life-giving rays once again shine down upon the province, no doubt many of you will be grabbing a bottle of wine to go chill in the park.
Great, I love wine-in-the-park too. But how about we step it up a little this summer and relish in the combination that is nature and wine, as God truly intended? And you don't even need to venture very far to partake in a wine-centric journey.
In fact, Quebec has plenty of vineyards around (or fairly close to) Montreal, many of which you can take a day or two off to check out. With vineyards so close, it's almost a crime not to take a wine tour this summer, wine-connoisseur or not.
The Montérégie Wine Route
- Length: 3 days
Despite being a somewhat new wine region, with many of the vineyards only in operation for the last thirty years, the Montérégie region is still more than capable of crafting some stellar wines. And you can discover them all along the Montérégie Wine Route.
Stretching a distance of about 175km, from Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois to Saint-Hyacinthe, this wine route features the Montérégie region's best wineries. In about a three day span (the recommended length set for the route) you'll be able to check out around 4 to 6 of the sixteen vineyards housed within the region.
- Length: 3 days
One of the three organized tours that make up the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route. The "Triangle" is a three-day journey that takes you to ten different vineyards, each of which specializes in different creations. A rather scenic route that will allow you to take in the countryside, the path also gives you a chance to check out an array of orchards and fruit growers who grow and make delights that will perfectly pair with your wines.
The Full-Day Eastern Township Tour
- Length: 1 day
If you aren't a huge wine-person, and are looking for a solid intro into the Quebec vineyard scene, then this wine tour may be your best option. Only a single day in length, the tour will take you to three wineries in the Eastern Townships with tasting workshops included in the itinerary. Best of all, you'll be accompanied by a professional guide who drives you to every vineyard, ensuring you have someone around who can answer all of your questions.
La Balade, Bromont, Cowansville Tour
- Length: 2 days
Another one of the tours outlined as part of the Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route, this particular itinerary is great for those looking to jazz up their wine escapade with more adventure. A water park, mountain biking trail, golf course, and many more outdoors-y activities are easily accessible through this particular route, as is the Bromont Chocolate Musuem and several spas. Of course, you'll still be checking out vineyards, with five on the set-list through this two day tour.
The 1-Day Wine Tour w/Cheese Tasting
- Length: 1 day
Picking you up right from downtown or Old Montreal, this single-day tour is all about condensing the luxury of a wine adventure into a an eight-hour trip. The tour group definitely accomplishes that task, where you'll be taken to three different wineries, go through a tasting workshop, and even receive a gourmet cheese snack along with a gourmet lunch to tide you over throughout the day. There's also a half-day tour for those who can only get the afternoon off work.
The Stretch Wine Tour
- Length: 2 Days
Five vineyards are on the set-list, just the drive to the Brome-Missisquoi wine tour is a feast for the eyes. Folks who like to keep things GMO-free will be pleased to hear that three of the scheduled vineyards are certified organic, which will definitely make a difference when it comes to taste.
La Route des Vins de l'Estrie
- Length: 1-2 days
Boasting a varied landscape filled with rivers, valleys, lakes, and mountains, the Estrie region is also home to an array of magnificent vineyards. On this particular route through the Estrie region, you'll be going on a wine-tastic journey that will take you to 7 local vineyards, all of which specialize in their own styles, flavours, and types. Note that this is more of a "do your own thing tour", so there's no strict itinerary. Just follow the route and head to as many vineyards as you like!