To say I’ve been busy over the past month is a huge understatement. I interviewed for a new job, was hired and began employment within less than two weeks. Then, I was out of town for a week for training with my job, home for a week and then on the road again.
Despite the blog about North Carolina wine, I wanted to share the details of my trip to Canada. Neither my husband nor I had ever been to Montreal so we figured we’d go visit my brother-in-law who lives there. And our trip would not have been complete without a drive along the Route Des Vins.
Although the leaves were past their peak, there was still quite a bit of fall color. The countryside was beautiful with quaint little towns framed by gold and red. It was quite chilly when we began our day, but by midafternoon it had warmed up enough to enjoy our lunch outdoors. We stopped at Union Libre Cidre & Vin just outside of Dunham, Quebec and parked our car next to a picnic table.
As we were sitting next to the apple trees enjoying our French-inspired lunch of bread, cheese and pate, I spotted a large dot running quickly towards us. I LOVE dogs, but I felt a little alarmed having a strange one coming toward me at such high speed. For a moment I wondered if he wanted to eat me instead of my pate for lunch. I didn’t wonder long. He came over to our table where he politely sat next to me and waited for some food. He was wagging his tail and smiling at me. Dogs just know who is most likely to feed them.
After we finished eating and feeding the dog, he led us inside where we were properly introduced. His name is Jack and he works at the winery. We were also introduced to Union Libre’s ciders, which include Fire, Ice and Sparkling. I loved the Ice cider with its notes of pear and honey; it would pair well with chocolate and desserts. The production process, natural cryoconcentration, is fascinating.
The process occurs by harvesting ripe apples and storing them until December. Then, they are squeezed and the resulting must is left outside to freeze. The water freezes, separating itself from the sugars which allows racking off the cider from the lees to get the concentrated must. Only 30% of the initial must will have the correct concentration and subsequently be fermented.
Our experience at Union Libre Cidre & Vin was both fun and educational. We all enjoyed our visit and I definitely recommend stopping in. Jack said to please remember to bring him a treat when you come.