New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are famous for their apples, but did you have any idea of how many things you can do with the basic Macintosh? Well, if you’re just crunching down on them, perhaps it’s time for you to visit the Bourgeois Farms and Belliveau Orchard. This pretty country drive will leave from Dieppe (take the right down route 106 at the traffic lights just beyond Champlain Mall) and take you down the north bank of the Petitcodiac River.
After driving a short distance, a sign will direct you to Route 925 and the village of Pre’d’en-Haut. The village could be typical of any small place in Quebec or Maritime Acadia, a cluster of houses surrounding the Catholic Church and the largest home in town, the brick rectory. The highway is more than just a highway here; it is the rue Principale, and at number 1209, you will have reached your destination. Well, it doesn’t look like much -- a typical, sprawling, white production building nestled in its surrounding orchards. The sign declares that you have arrived at the Belliveau Orchard, and frankly, you should go inside. This is, after all, a winery.
The orchards and apple production have been in business up and down this road for a long time, but this winery has been here for only six years. All the products here come from the surrounding orchards and fields and the best news is that the tasting is free. If you wish a full tour of the entire winery, either as a couple or as a group, call ahead. For $10/person you can visit the whole operation before your tasting. Call 506/758-0295.
Inside, you will find a nice tasting room, all done up to look vaguely Tudor or late medieval, and a sales room. This is available everyday...well, almost; the winery closes five days a year, but if you like wine and the taste of apples, this is the place to be. They offer four different apple wines, the sparkling Belliveau, Beausejour and Pre-d’en Haut (each with different sweetness and alcohol content) and the still Le Masse. There are also pear, cherry, and blueberry wines, which are suitable before, during, or after a meal. We were struck by both the quality and the taste and bought several bottles. These range in price from $8.50 to $9.95, so it is great value. There is also an apple ice-wine. Apparently, after the apples are turned to juice, the juice is frozen, and the wine is made from that product. It sells for $19.95 and is delicious. Is there anything for the children? Try the sparkling apple cider, or buy a large container of regular apple cider for those cold winter nights.
Also available -- and this is a farm operation -- are local honey and a plethora of "homemade" jams and jellies. Now, apparently, these really are home-made, the product of a lady whose kitchen is just down the road. We opted for bottles of strawberry/rhubarb, blueberry, and strawberry, but we could have tried apple butter, maple syrup, or maple jelly. You really are in the Maritimes!
Now that the car is loaded up with good things to eat and drink, continue down the road to the distinctly Acadian village of Memramcook, and from there, drive to Dorchester and on to Sackville. There is much to see and do in these pretty valleys and woodlands. For more information on the operation, go to the orchard's website.