2019 UPDATE: The Fete is happening over two weekends: August 31-September 1 & 2, and September 7-8! See you in Magog!
If the name of this blog is of any indication, looking for ways to celebrate weekends is my passion! On a recent September weekend (which happened to be our anniversary), we headed to Magog, Canada, just over the Canadian border (4.5 hour drive from Boston). I already told you why Magog is a great weekend destination (particularly for a couple’s getaway). During this early fall trip, we have happened upon the annual Magog’s Harvest Festival known locally as Fete des Vendanges Magog-Oxford. If you are planning a visit to Magog in the fall, be sure to include this celebration of wine and food in your Magog fall weekend agenda!
WHAT IS IT?
Fete des Vendanges Magog-Oxford gathers over 100 regional wine and food producers (majority of them from Magog-Oxford area – within 40 kilometers of Magog) during several weekends in September on the shores of beautiful Lake Memphremagog. The emphasis is on local wines, but there are cheeses, foie gras, charcuterie products, fruit preserves, oils and vinegars and much more. The festival kicks off fall activities in the Eastern Townships region and has been around since 1993.
HOW DOES IT WORK
An entrance ticket ($25 CAN this year) gets you access to the main degustation Pavilion, your own wine glass (to keep) and 20 degustation coupons.
Inside, your surrender 1-4 coupons at each vendor stand (some stands do not require any coupons for tasting). You can buy additional coupons if you run out.
Here is how I spent my tasting coupons:
The foie gras:
The oils and vinegars (I think no-coupons were needed for this one )
And even more foie gras:
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
Aside from wine/food degustation, you can enjoy live music line up, cooking demonstrations from Canadian celebrity chiefs, or play a wine game to see if you can identify the one from Quebec (blindfolded). You can also step out of the tent and have a picnic by the lake, like we did.
CAN YOU BRING THE KIDS?
Yes, you can! While the emphasis is on showcasing regional wines and accompanying foods, your kids can enter the degustation pavilion with you and take breaks in the designated kids area called Zone de Petite raisons with food education activities, circus entertainers and inflatable structures.
WHEN TO GO
The festival is happening annually over the course of two consecutive weekends in early September. I suggest to arrive early in the day (preferably, as soon as the doors open in the morning), and do not wait until the last day – so that you have a chance to come back the following day/weekend- and get more of your favorite tastes!
And if you are in Magog on a couple’s getaway, be sure to check out the local spas!
We attended the show as media representatives and did not receive any compensation for any vendor recommendations.