Québec’s viniculture history stretches back centuries! Upon landing on Île d’Orléans in 1535, Jacques Cartier named it “Île de Bacchus” (after the Greek god of grapevines, celebrations and wine) due to the sheer variety of wild vines that grew there. Many ships have since sailed on our majestic St. Lawrence River and several grape varieties have been created in Québec. Indeed, the province now boasts nearly a hundred vineyards in about 15 regions across Québec producing still, fortified, sparkling and organic wines.
Passion that bears fruit
Hybrid grape varieties able to resist temperatures down to -30°C were created to weather Québec’s harsh winters. The province’s main white grape varieties include the Cayuga, Eona, Seyral, Vidal and about a dozen more, while its core red varieties include the Chancellor, De Chaunac, Maréchal Foch, St. Croix and a dozen more.
Over half of Québec’s wineries are found in the two tourist regions that produce the most wine, namely the Eastern Townships and Montérégie. Various wine routes enable you to discover the secrets of viniculture and oenology. Explore any of these wine routes and meet enthusiastic winegrowers that will be thrilled to share their passion and knowledge with you. You’ll be sure to make fantastic discoveries and meet warm, friendly people.
Québec’s wineries harvest their grapes in September, with many picking activities held during this time. Moreover, several other winery activities are organised year-round.
Several Québec wines are available at SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec) outlets. You may also stock up on your favourites at the wineries and some public markets throughout Québec. Pair them with our delicious Québec cheeses for an amazing tasting experience!