On a cloudy warm day, what do you do when you’re returning and visiting the place you had lived most of your life? What’s new? Yes, yes been with family and friends, and a great time but you know, what is it you’ve haven’t done and seen in a while. Oh, they have developed a wine industry in the Townships, so off we go.
Getting out of Montreal through the construction was the first part, if you leave early enough it’s not too much of a problem.
Using the GPS to go where you’ve been before often in itself can be a source of conversation and confusion. The GPS has worked quite well for us most of the places we go but I think it might have lost something in the translation. Our way of getting there was a very roundabout way, as in very and we saw many new corn fields we hadn’t seen before, but finally we got to where we wanted to go…..Dunham. You’ll find it on the map not far the US border to Vermont, quaint and quite a few vineyards in the area.
Our first stop was the winery at Restaurant le Tire-Bouchon de l’Opailleur, the winery was L’Opailleur. It’s beautifully set up, the old farm house type buildings with restaurants, small shops and goodies are well decorated and easy to get around. There’s not hard sell of anything and Eastern Township easy going and everyone was fluently bilingual. (shh..am I allowed to say that?) There were some fruit and vegetable stalls, confectionary items, honey and cheeses, all local and all of a high quality. We did get some hot pepper jelly and caramelized onion type chutney.
The wine, for $6 you got to try 6 of their wines from white, rosé, red, to a dessert wine somewhat like a sweet Vidal but not quite. Unfortunately the wine was not to our liking as a group.
We did get a reference to a very good restaurant in Frelighsburg called Lyvano, it’s on the stream just on your right as you enter the village, the big blue building. We were also told that the local grocer “Tradition” the only one in town makes their own smoked salmon and we did go and try it and we got a nice piece for a snack later in the afternoon, and oh so good.
Lyvano is in a great location, decorated to suit the area, plus there’s a patio/deck where you’re sitting above the stream with the water running over the rocks all surrounded by some big trees that give you great shade. The food, one rabbit salad, one smoked salmon plate and two fish and chips later plus some home-made key lime pie locally made. Oh yes tried the St.Ambroise “apricot beer” really suited the rabbit salad. All in all quite good, the service was quick, friendly and informative. There are two other restaurants close by and they were also quite busy so if you get a chance go and enjoy.
We then went back up to Dunham and tried the following wineries Les Trois Clochers, Clos St.Croix, Domaine des Côte d’Ardoise, Gagliano and once again there was not a wine we found that we liked.
Then we returned to Montreal through the traffic and eventually the skies opened a fitting end to a great day. Had to snack on the smoked salmon and enjoy a glass or two of wine.
For those worried about language, don’t worry about it. As I said everyone we met in the townships spoke English or was able to understand and answer any questions easily.
This type of day or visit for a couple of days is great, easy driving and friendly people,
Here are some websites that might be helpful: