Canada/Quebec: Vignoble de l’Orpailleur

Surprisingly, southern Quebec is actually quite well-known for winemaking. Vignoble de l’Orpailleur is one of the oldest and best-regarded wineries in the area. It’s famous for a couple local grape varieties grown in these cold northern climate – vidal and seyval, producing some crisp white wines. But the real fame comes here from the ice wine, made from grapes picked frozen off the wine, somewhat similar to Austrian ice wine or the Hungarian tolaj. In Quebec, the grapes have to be picked at minimum of -8C, sometime around December. This makes for high concentration of sugars and also aroma and flavors. At Vignoble de l’Orpailleur winery you can sample all their wines, try the ice wine, and see the whole winemaking process, as well as see the vines. To be honest, wines were a bit rough and not particularly refined, including the overly sugary ice wine.