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The Eastern Canada “Tap and Cork” Wine Tour to Do This Fall if You’re Craving a Seasonal Drink (Or Three)!

Are you an epicurean at heart? This might be true if your favourite pastimes include trying locally-brewed beers, tantalizing your taste buds with fine wine, and scoping out the best fresh ciders. If you’re a self-proclaimed connoisseur of all things booze-infused and fancy, you will love to discover the “Tap and Cork” route throughout Quebec and Ontario! The Okanagan Valley and its vineyards are nice and all, but you don’t need to travel that far for quality fall beverages.

The “Tap and Cork” route, starting just a few hours from Montreal, delivers the same kind of experience you’d expect from competitors out west. It includes about fifteen microbreweries, vineyards, distilleries and cider houses waiting for you to explore. What makes it all the more interesting is that you walk a route between the Outaouais in Quebec and the Pontiac region near Ottawa, Ontario. A wine walk is an ideal activity for travellers who are (literally) thirsty for new discoveries!

© Lisa Marie Gaudreault / Nomad Junkies

What makes this region a must-have for backpackers is that it is still relatively unknown. The hosts are also lovely. You will have the chance to stop at various shops and chat with owners who care deeply about their small businesses. Take the opportunity to learn the stories of how their passion projects came to be. You won’t be able to do that in the big vineyards! You will love the personalized feel and will be able to fill your backpack with exclusive local products!

Among the various stops, here are some of the places you can visit in the Pontiac region (on the Quebec side):

Little Red Wagon Winery

© Marie St-Yves / Nomad Junkies

Let yourself be seduced by the Little Red Wagon Winery (Le Vignoble du Petit Chariot Rouge in French). You can’t help fall in love with the place when greeted by the friendly owners or their adorable dogs. Each piece of decor has been hand-chosen with care, giving the vineyard a rustic country feel. On a nice day, you can taste their three wines, P’tit Blanc, P’tit Rouge and P’tit Rosé, on the terrace. If the rain keeps you inside, the interior decor is just as sublime as the owner drew up the building plans, and her works of art adorn the walls. If you’re feeling hungry, be sure to try their charcuterie platter; it’s delicious. Afterwards, stroll through the vines and wildflowers before leaving with a few souvenir bottles of your favourite wine.

Domaine de Pontiac Village

© Marie St-Yves / Nomad Junkies

Next is a place where history and wine combine. As soon as you arrive at the Domaine de Pontiac Village, you will notice the collection of vintage cars in the courtyard. It is the only vineyard in the area with a restored car museum on-site! Here you can chat with the passionate owners while tasting an array of seasonal wines. You might come across their cute children running through the vines. If time permits, you can bring lunch and have a picnic. Their wines are one-of-a-kind, meaning you can only get them from the shop. Don’t miss out on shopping!

Coronation Hall Cider Mill

© Marie St-Yves and Lisa Marie Gaudreault / Nomad Junkies

Lastly, visit the Coronation Hall Cider Housewhere the Graham family will teach you all about cider making and the history of their family business. Show your support by shopping at the souvenir shop where you’ll want to buy everything: ciders, jellies, pastries, pies, etc. If you’re lucky, you can even taste a tart that is still hot and fresh from the oven. You might want to bring a pie home with you after witnessing the baking process. So yummy! Take a walk in the orchards afterwards; it’s the perfect fall day activity!

A little friendly advice: Make sure to check the opening hours of the different businesses as they are not all open daily.

And as always, don’t drink & drive! Find yourself a designated driver (they can still eat all the treats)!

Are you planning a “Tap and Cork” tour or something similar this fall?

© Lisa Marie Gaudreault / Nomad Junkies

We loved pairing with Tourisme Outaouais for this adventure. Here are a few resources to help you plan your next getaway:

This article was originally published in French and adapted in English by Britney Claveau.

Lisa Marie Gaudreault
Lisa Marie Gaudreault
Je suis agente de bord, nutritionniste, professeure de yoga, rédactrice, mais surtout nomade. J’ai habité au Nicaragua et dans l’Ouest canadien. Voyager vient combler chez moi mon besoin de me renouveler sans cesse et ma curiosité insatiable. L'un de mes buts est d'éduquer les voyageurs afin qu'ils voyagent de façon plus responsable en accord avec la nature.
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