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A Day Trip to Dunham, Quebec

Four fun things to do in the Eastern Townships, an hour's drive from Montreal.

UNION LIBRE cidre & vin

Photo: Kava Tours

01 Sip Cider
Union Libre Cidre & Vin
With vines planted over 30 years ago, Dunham is home to the first – and now, most – wineries in Quebec. For a wintery spin on the Brome-Missisquoi trail, head to Union Libre Cidre & Vin for a cider flight. Begin inside the barnhouse tasting room, with an aromatic ice cider made from apples that undergo cryoextraction after being left to freeze on the trees through December. Step outside around the bonfire, where you’ll learn how the four owners put a new twist on the drink, concentrating it with heat to create the first-ever Fire Cider. Sample it both fortified and not, and as taffy poured over fresh snow. Still thirsty? Stick around for a mixology class.
1047, rue Bruce, 450-295-2223,

02 Shop
Savonnerie Poussière d’Étoile
This soapmaker’s rustic Main Street boutique is filled with a selection of handmade skincare items and body products for men, women and babies. Stock up on their standout offering: soaps made with shea butter and nourishing donkey’s milk. In warmer months, stop by the nearby dairy farm to meet the beloved beasts.
3809, rue Principale, 450-284-0535,

La Bodega

Photo: Karine Gagné

03 Refuel
La Bodega
Nestled within the 1832 fieldstone Maynard House is a warmly lit dining room with an ­unexpectedly modern menu. Tuck into hearty Spanish and Latin-American dishes cooked up with local libations, like cider chorizo and scallops in wine from nearby Château de Cartes winery.
3698, rue Principale, 450-284-0580,

La Rumeur Affamée

Photo: Michel St-Jean

04 Pitstop
La Rumeur Affamée
Thanks to its relatively ­clement microclimate, agriculture is a mainstay in Dunham. Reap the ­bounty off-season: Browse the selection of gourmet foodstuffs – both ­housemade, like maple confit onions and fresh-baked breads and pies, and from close-by producers, like unpasteurized cheeses and cider vinegars.
3809, rue Principale, 450-295-2399,

Local Dunham Legend

Thomas Dunn

Born in Durham, England, Thomas Dunn was given the title to the then township in 1796. The unprecedented grant of Dunham – now the heart of the province’s wine industry – speaks to the respect that Dunn commanded in Lower Canada. A man of “sound wisdom, rectitude and benevolence,” he meant business from the start and wore many hats: entrepreneur, seigneur, judge, office-holder, politician and eventually colonial administrator.



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