June 14, 2002
As you come off the bridge, go up the hill and take a right at the first traffic light. The information center will be on your right. You may want to stop here to pick up some information or the headphone tour along Rue Royale. We didn’t stop this time. We were looking for the local vineyard.
About a mile down the road on the right-hand side you will see a sign for Vignoble Sainte Petronille. There is a small wooden building down the dirt road; this is the store. They have been operating here for the past 12 years and this is a simple, family-run operation. The store sells only wine; it comes in red, white and rose. They do give guided tours of their operation but we didn’t take one. We were looking for a nice local gift to bring home and this fit the bill perfectly. We were surprised, considering how small the store was, that they took visa. This was nothing like any other vineyard store I’ve ever visited, but it was perfect for this village. Nothing slick about it. They are open all year and can be reached for tour information at 418-828-9554.
Our next stop was the Chocolaterie de L’Ile d’Orleans . We were looking for a snack and we saw the small restaurant adjacent to the shop. We never did get to the restaurant. The shop is located at the very tip of the island. You are greeted by the smell of the sea as you step out of the car. I was surprised because I had never realized that the St Lawrence was salty this far in, but it definitely has the smell of the ocean.
If you are looking for wonderful Belgian chocolate, done in unique flavors and forms, this is your place. I bought some chocolate boxes filled with chocolates as well as filled chocolates and boxed biscuits in a mixed nut flavor. All of their products are made by hand. No shortcuts are taken in the production of this chocolate. The walls have plaques telling the history of the chocolate, and also how it is harvested and processed. As my son said, he now knows more about chocolate than he ever wanted to know.
We treated ourselves to cones filled with Belgian chocolate ice cream and raspberry sorbet. They offered wonderful choices, including caramel ice cream and grapefruit sorbet. They also sell local honey in beautiful handpainted jars. This makes a great stop for a gift or just to satisfy your sweet tooth. The staff speaks English and they take credit cards.
From journal Je me Souviens-Quebec City