I'm planning a day drive along the Circuit du Paysan next weekend and would like to get some info on the best food/wine/produce destinations to visit, since we'll surely not have time to tour them all.
Does anyone know whether most of the 'u-pick' orchards, wineries, charcuteries, cheese makers, artisanal shops, and farms, are open on Sundays?
I've just discovered the http://www.circuitdupaysan.com/ website and filled out the form to 'order' a map. I still don't understand whether it will be mailed out free-of-charge (QC tourist board funded perhaps?) or I will be contacted for further details, as I was simply asked my shipping info and nothing more. Eitherway, I hope it'll be received before the end of the week.
I've mapped out all of the seemingly interesting food stops along the route, and came up with the list below. As we will not be visiting 15 different cideries and orchards, I'm hoping some of you can help me narrow down the list from "must visit" to extended destinations, in order to sample not only the best of the region, but also the most interesting and unique that the route has to offer. Ie. the best orchards for varieties of pickings, fresh juices and ciders, exceptional produce, etc.
Some of the following spots may not apply as, for instance, berries are now out of season...
I would like to load a couple of large Coleman's into the trunk, and stock up on the best fresh baked goods, hand picked fruits, ciders and local wines, farmed meats and cheeses, etc; as well as visit interesting shops, pâtisserie and places to sample on location. Would also like suggestions for a picnic lunch en route, with local products and ingredients purchased along the way.
Here's what I've managed to compile with the help of Google and the above linked site (c/p from notepad reference file):
• Charcuterie Frick
• Marché des Jardiniers
• Route des Bleuets du Sud-Ouest - [Bleuetière Au Fin Délice, Bleuetière L & L, Bleuetière La Planète Bleue, Bleuetière 2800, Bleuetière Machabée, Bleuetière et Verger Benoit et Mario Faille, Bleuetière Sylvie Rémillard, Bleuetière Ivanhoë Faille, Érablière et Bleuetière Mario et Nathalie, Bleuetière St-Bernard, Chocolaterie Ody Au Domaine des Petits Fruits - END OF SEASON
• Vignoble du Domaine St-Jacques
• Fromagerie le Métayer
• Pâtisserie Chez Hoffmann
• Vignoble le Royer St-Pierre
• Vignoble Morou
• Les Fraises Louis Hébert - END OF SEASON
• Boulangerie Chez Tartine
• Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser
• Vignoble Angell
• Cidrerie du Minot
• D'Antan Magasin Général
• La Face Cachée de la Pomme
• Vergers Petch Orchards
• Vergers Écologiques Philion
• Domaine des Salamandres
• Boucherie Viau
• Vignoble le Marathonien
• Brasserie Saint-Antoine-Abbé
• Cidrerie Rockburn
• Les Vergers Franklin
• Verger Biologique Maniadakis
• Cidrerie La Pommeraie du Suroît
• Stevenson Orchards
• Les Vergers Blair
• Vignoble J.O. Montpetit & Fils
• Aux 3 Chocolats
• Fromagerie Ruban Bleu
How realistic would it be to expect to visit a good portion of the above sites in a single day, if setting off early morning? Visiting fifteen different cideries might be considered a tad superfluous, so is there anything listed above that would strike you as inessential and expendable? I'm equally interested in exploring the small townships, countrysides, landscapes, etc. and would include 100 year old historic farms and other staples of the region, even if they are not necessarily the foremost producers in the area, or aren't especially peerless in their offerings compared to other specialty producers nearby. Anyone who has done this route in recent years, your feedback would be much appreciated!