A few weeks ago, Odette and I and bunch of her colleagues from work went on a visit to 2 Eastern Township vineyards. The particular ones we visited were in Dunham located south of Cowansville. There are some 20 vineyards now located in the townships. It's not Niagara Falls, but the idea of growing grapes on the side of slopes such as Mt Sutton was an education.
What I found particularly interesting is how they keep the plants from freezing in the winter. They invented this snow plow type of contraption and after the plants have gone dormant sometime in November , they cut the vines off and plough the soil onto the plants and reverse the process in the spring. To make ice wine they cut the grapes off the vines wrap them in netting hang them on the vine wires and wait for them to freeze hard. They then collect them after snow has fallen.
All of the wine that these places produce cannot be found on SAQ shelves. The SAQ has a monopoly and it's very hard to get Quebec wines in their stores.The producers sell mostly direct to restaurants , individuals and overseas. We ended up buying about 8 bottles for about $150
In one of the pictures at L'Orpailleur vineyards, there are 2 rows of carboys of wine fermenting outside hung on a barn wall. The juice from the grapes is put in the carboys along with some alcohol and left to ferment outside for six years. The alcohol evaporates and your left with a really good wine. (Part Des Anges). I've tried it 16.8%
In one of the pictures you can see Mount-Johnson (left) St-Bruno+St-Hilaire (middle) and Rougement (right)
We had a really nice visit, other than the cool grey weather , had a good time.
Sites can be visited on the web
Thanks Ivan R.