Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Pamela
COVID 🦠 UPDATE: As of May 28, 2021, the curfew in Quebec will be lifted. This is a preliminary step towards fewer restrictions for this summer. At this time, there is a plan to have restaurants and bars 🍻 open by mid-June. Keep up-to-date with regional restrictions here. You can read more about the recent changes in this article.
Warm sunny days are the perfect backdrop for an Ile d’Orleans wine tour. The sun warming your skin as you admire the spectacular winery views, and contemplating how many bottles of wine you can buy before it looks like you might have a problem.
A new tour departing from Place d’Armes, a few steps from Château Frontenac, in Old Quebec City, The Wine Tour is one of the best ways to discover Quebec City wineries.
And possibly make a few friends along the way!
Discover A Little Piece of Ile d’Orleans
One of my favourite day trips from Quebec City, Ile d’Orleans is home to talented artisans and producers, families who have lived on the same sections of land since the first piece of land was granted to the colonists of New France.
Hard work and passion for creating high-quality products is ingrained into the heart and soul of the people on Ile d’Orleans.
They are proud of their heritage and their work, something you will quickly discover on this Ile d’Orleans wine tour.
Small Wineries with Big Hearts
Our Ile d’Orleans wine tour begins at Saint-Pierre Vignoble, an exciting new winery on the border of the communities of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Pétronille.
While some wineries struggle during their first couple of years of production, Saint-Pierre has started with two award-winning wines (Rosée Martinale and Rêverie) and a very promising future.
Run by an enchanting couple, Jacques and Christiane, Saint-Pierre’s vineyard stretches down the north shore of Ile d’Orleans, offering up views of the Saint-Lawrence River and Montmorency Falls in the distance.
Tasting each of Saint-Pierre’s wines, Jacques easily switches between French and English, speaking of the grapes (they grow five varieties) and the vineyard’s history.
It’s a lovely way to begin an Ile d’Orleans wine tour, and I make promises to return to chat more about the winery – and possibly try the intriguing pain hot fondue from the wooden snack shack outside.
Driving past 17th-century fieldstone ancestral homes, lush green fields, and my *cough* favourite spot for lobster rolls, our next stop takes us to Vignoble du Mitan.
Where the lovely lady doing our tasting speaks English faster than I do!
Admiring the 17th-century ancestral home next to the vineyard and the winery’s beautiful terrace, our little group lines up along the tasting counter.
Listening intently, we are guided through the Vignoble du Mitan’s nine wines, including their award-winning icewine, as the winery’s proprietor, Marcelin, looks on from a distance.
He’s been working in the vineyard all day and, I swear, I can almost taste his hard work in each glass of wine.
Our next stop is quite a bit faster than the first two, which, in retrospect, is probably a good thing as we (a French couple from Beauport and myself) begin to call ourselves the three musketeers and laugh loudly.
The language barrier between French and English slowly blurs, and the journey to our final stop on the wine tour has us all laughing uncontrollably when I make the mistake of thinking ‘à gauche’ means something lovely, when it actually means ‘to the left’.
In my defence, the French couple always said it with a tone of wonder, which gave me the impression it was far better than the English definition of gauche.
Our final stop takes us to one of the most beautiful Quebec City wineries, Vignoble Isle de Bacchus its bright blue roof, Jacques Cartier mural, fieldstone wine cellar, and breathtaking views.
Named for the original name given to the island by Jacques Cartier, before the King of France asked him to name the island after his son, the Duke of Orleans, Vignoble Isle de Bacchus is where I want to spend all of my summer and autumn nights.
Growing eight varieties of grapes, Isle de Bacchus produces eight wines, as well as gelée de vin.
Sitting on the terrace during the golden hour, we close out our Ile d’Orleans wine tour with a glass of wine, as well as charcuterie and cheese board, which, of course, features Quebec terroir.
Take The Wine Tour
Taking a guided wine tour of Ile d’Orleans is a splendid way to discover talented local producers and artisans.
Honestly, you’ll probably want to come back to experience more of the island’s food and culture.
A tour can be booked online with Quebec Bus Tours here: https://quebecbustour.com/en/wine-tour/
Note: The wineries on the tour change from time to time depending on availability at each winery.