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Discover The Wine Route !
For several years now, I’ve been dreaming of visiting California so I can tour some of the most prestigious vineyards. But for now, while I’m still waiting for this dream to come true, I thought that it would probably be just as interesting to try the experiment right here, in the beautiful province of Quebec. So, it was aboard Discount’s Jeep Wrangler, along with my sister-in-law, that I took the road towards Brome-Missisquoi.

The Wine Route
 
The Brome-Missisquoi wine route is 140 kilometers of sensational scenery which includes a series of activities to experiment with family or friends, restaurants with unique menus and more than twenty vineyards to visit. In other words, the perfect place for wine lovers and epicureans.
 
Domaine du Ridge


Champs de Florence - Domaine du Ridge
 
We started our venture with a guided tour at Domaine du Ridge. Upon our arrival, we were seduced not only by the warm welcoming we received, but also by the beauty of their large terrace covered with vines. Our tour was guided  by the dynamic Marie-Florence, daughter of Mr. Denis Paradis, owner and founder of the Domaine du Ridge.We could not have wished to have a better guide since she knows the vineyard and all its history like the back of her hand ! Once the visit ended, we went on to the next step: the wine tasting. This step was as interesting as it was delicious and obviously, one we particularly appreciated.
 
Whether for a visit, a personalized event, or even to try out the "winemaker for a day" experience (September and October), you will be charmed by the Domaine du Ridge.
 
Tasting tray - Domaine du Ridge

Marie-Florence Paradis - Domaine du Ridge 

A bridge like no other
 
Satisfied with our first stop, we boarded our Jeep towards our hostel. By slightly branching off our route, we had the chance to cross the Des Rivières bridge, one of 84 covered bridges still in service in Quebec. Built in 1884, it is now classified as a heritage building by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications. A beautiful discovery that we had to Immortalized with a photo, of course!
 
Covered bridges - Des Rivières

The Old Mill 1849
 
Finally arrived at our hostel, we wasted no time to drop our bags in our room so we could take a look at the surroundings. The Old Mill 1849, built in the middle of the 19th century alongside the « rivière aux brochets », offers a wonderful view of the old mill. We walked for a few minutes to enjoy the scenery and just before the sunset, we went to the inn's bistro terrace to enjoy a cold beer and grab a bite. I had only heard good comments about the food a the Old Mill so I could not wait to try it.
 
 Old Mill 1849 hostel

Vieux Moulin - Old Mill 1849

We started with nachos and then for our main courses, Julie went for the chicken burger and I chose the ribs covered with a beer based sauce. We devoured the all three dishes! Everything was exquisite. We had a little chat and we were finally ready to go back to the room for a well deserved night of sleep.
 
Bistro OId Mill 1849

Unplanned visits

Since the hostel's bistro is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (as are several restaurants in the area), we decided to take the road to Dunham and find a place to grab a quick breakfast. A nice little restaurant called L'épicerie Café Dunham had an open sign, so we had no choice but to stop and it was exactly what we were looking for. Our waitress offered us a map that illustrated the attractions of the area. Our initial plan was to continue the wine route, but our attention was drawn to two places that were not planned for our itinerary.
 
We first went to Les Trois Acres - Beekeeping, located a few minutes from the restaurant. The owner kindly greeted us and showed us the bees at work in a hive of observation while informing us and letting us taste  the different kinds of honey and other products made with beeswax. For those who are interested, Les Trois Acres offers the "Apiculturist for a day" experience. This activity is by reservation only, so be sure to reserve your spot before going.
 
Les Trois Acres

Les Trois Acres
 
Second unplanned visit: Garrick Corners Alpacas. A small shop and alpaca farm. As soon as we got off the jeep, the owner, Karen Garrick, came to greet us with an inviting smile and was kind enough offer us a guided tour even though the place was "closed". Throughout the visit, she told us the story of the farm, cute anecdotes about some of her beautiful animals and she also explained the whole breeding process as well as the manufacturing of all the knitted articles made from the alpaca wool. Our visit lasted about an hour, which conclude our morning and put a smile on our faces for the rest of the day!
 
Garrick Corners Alpacas


Karen Garrick - Garrick Corners Alpacas
 
The continuation of the wine route
 
Among the vineyards we had the pleasure of visiting was the Domaine de Côtes d’Ardoise; the oldest commercial vineyard still in operation in Quebec. The country site with gardens, historic buildings and works of art is absolutely fantastic. After tasting their products, we went on the trails to observe the exhibition of sculptures. The course of about a kilometer led us into the heart of the vineyards, giving us a breathtaking view of the vineyard. Each vineyard is unique and has its own history and its culture. They are definitely worth stopping by and taking a tour.
 
Domaine des Côtes d'Ardoise

Sculpture - Domaine des Côtes d'Ardoise
  
One last stop
 
Our last stop in the Brome-Missisquoi area was at Dunham Brewery. In front of the brewery, there is a charming little pub with a terrace, a varied menu with a beautiful and long list of beers. The ideal place for two hungry ladies! The service was as great as our beer and meal choices were. Definitely the perfect ending to a perfect trip !

Dunham Brewery


Dunham Brewery
 
Since every good thing has to come to an end, the time had come for us to jump into the Jeep and head back home. Once again, I would like to thank Discount Car and Truck Rentals without whom this great outing would have probably never happened. The Jeep Wrangler was the ideal choice for this adventure. I recommend you try it out on your next road trip, it makes it so much more fun!

Text and photos : Véronique Groulx

 

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