Pick fruit at these orchards and vineyards near Montreal

When the kids head back to school, you know it’s also the season for apple picking... and the grape harvest, too! Return to your childhood by climbing a tree to pick the best fruit, or celebrate adult life with a good glass of wine, as you wish! Here are a few suggestions for orchards and vineyards to visit when fall rolls around. [Image credit: iStock.com/wholden]

Les Vergers Petit et fils

1020, ch de la Montagne, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC J3G 4S6

Nestled on the southern slope of Monteregie's highest mountain, Les Vergers Petit & Fils are renowned their fine apples and cider. Besides picking your own apples, you can join in a host of other activities, including tractor rides; an amusement park for toddlers; a mini-farm with sheep, goats, horses, llamas and donkeys; an observation bridge overlooking the orchards; a maze; and even a treasure hunt! There is also a creperie (open on weekends) and a shop full of jams, pickles, pastries, juices, and much more, not to mention delicious cider made by the owners.

Vergers Denis Charbonneau (Crêperie)

575, rang de la Montagne, Mont-Saint-Grégoire, QC J0J 1K0

This family-owned business was founded in 1981 at the foot of Mont Saint-Grégoire, about 45 minutes from Montreal. What’s on offer? Pick your own apples, take wagon rides, visit a mini-farm with peacocks, llamas and emus, follow a walking trail to the heart of the orchard, have a picnic and enjoy cider tasting and hiking trails! Traditional meals are also cooked on-site. Gourmet preserves, gift baskets, maple syrup and cider products (rosé, sparkling, bubbly and ice cider) are offered at the store, while traditional Breton crepes and picnics are served daily at the creperie from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Verger Champêtre

2300, rue Cowie, Granby, QC J2J 0H4

Former dairy farmers Thérèse Choinière and Mario Mailloux decided to put their 250-acre Granby farm to good use by sharing it with everyone. And so they created Verger Champêtre. What sets them apart? The farm is certified by Terroir et Saveurs, (the Quebec Federation of Agrotourism); it is also an interpretive centre with an interactive museum, with replicas and stunning scenery, which explains the realities of farm life to children; a small on-site school also presents art workshops for kids. Finally, you’ll find a nice shop selling pâtés, soups, pickles, jams, pies, homemade sausages, farm-raised meat, gift baskets, and more!

Vignoble de L'Orpailleur Inc

1086, rue Bruce, Dunham, QC J0E 1M0

A true pioneer in the Quebec wine industry, L'Orpailleur planted its first vines in 1982 in Dunham valley. The vineyard offers a variety of guided visits including a brief overview of the history of the vineyard and its production methods; a tasting of some local gourmet products; a short lesson in sabrage (the technique for opening champagne bottles with a knife); a food and wine pairing experience; and even a complete hands-on introduction to grape harvesting. Whites, reds, rosés, sparkling and ice wines are on offer at the store, as well as at their country-style restaurant, Le Tire-Bouchon!

Vignoble Chapelle Ste Agnes

2565, ch Scenic, Sutton, QC J0E 2K0

Founded in 1997 by an antique dealer who moved from Montreal to the slopes of Mount Sutton, this vineyard specializes in the production of ice and dessert wines. Its huge terrain, home to some 7,000 vines, also features a beautiful Romanesque-style chapel (which is also the origin of its name), and impressive wine cellars located in a large medieval-style building, including tasting rooms and a cave where a flowing waterfall provides an underground source of water. Try the two-hour guided tour, which includes tastings of several wine vintages, and shop for unique gifts like marble coasters and crystal wine glasses.

Vignoble Le Cep D'Argent

1257, ch de la Rivière, Magog, QC J1X 3W5

Born from a meeting between two French citizens from the Champagne region and four Quebecers, Le Cep d'Argent opened its doors to the public in 1988. In 1991, they organized a grand harvest festival, which was an immediate success; so much so that it became, two years later, the Magog and Orford's classic Fête des Vendanges! Guided tours introduce vistors to geomorphology, grape cultivation, wine and Champagne making and bottling, and include appetizers and wine. And remember to stop by their shop to stock up on red, white, rosé, fortified, flavoured, sparkling and sweet wines to bring home!

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