It's harvest time in the Eastern Townships, the beautiful region just 30 minutes South of Montreal, which means the annual celebration of wines and fine foods called Fête des Vendenges will take place in Magog, on the first two weekends of September. Which is basically a big party under a huge white tent by the lake with hundreds of winemakers, jam-makers, honeymakers and other mom'n'pop farmers and artisans showing off their stuff and offering tastings. Here's the link to the full program.
Timed to coincide with the Fête, the Relais & Châteaux Manoir Hovey in North Hatley (a 20-minute drive from Magog) will serve, from September 3-30, a tasting menu in partnership with one of the most respected wineries in the province, Les Pervenches.
Manoir Hovey was an early supporter of this very special boutique winery run by Michael Marler, a young French-trained winemaker fiercely devoted to his terroir, near the village of Dunham, in the heard of the Townships winemaking region.
Les Pervenches wines are a cut above most other Quebec wines. Marler is daring and talented enough to bottle, in the better years, a Chardonnay - something unheard of in regions with such harsh winters. The very small production is bought up by regular clients and high-end restaurants, leaving only a small quantity of bottles available for sale at the property. The sheer scarcity of these wines, which are made a mere 30 minutes from the Manoir, means even getting a chance to taste them is quite a treat.
Marler worked closely with chef Ménard on this time-limited menu, which will be offered at dinner only. Marler himself will be at the restaurant on some evenings (September 4, 6, 18 and 19) speaking to guests and presenting his wines.