A great thirst for discoveries at the Harvest Festival
The desire to discover new products is great among the participants of the Magog-Orford Wine Festival. Of course, Quebec wines continue to be at the heart of the annual event, but several other products also attract the crowds at Merry Point when the gastronomic happening is in full swing. The cheeses, cold cuts and spirits of the 26th edition have also delighted many palaces.
TheMagog-Orford Harvest Festival officials would have preferred the weather conditions to be a little lenient during the 26th edition of the event. Several showers, some of which were particularly intense, occurred during the festivities in recent days. Nevertheless, the organizers are satisfied with the public participation.
Typically, about 80,000 people stop at Merry Point to take advantage of the activities offered by the Harvest Festival, which this year ran from August 31 to September 8. The president of the event, Jean-Paul Scieur, concedes, however, that this figure was probably not reached this time.
“It’s hard to give a precise number of ridings at this point. However, there is a slight decrease this year. The heavy rain last Monday came back in and then it’s sure that the work in downtown Magog could have an impact, “said Mr. Scieur.
Although visitors are likely to be fewer this year, the president of the Fête des Vendanges argues that this annual event “is far from being out of breath”.
“When we started this 26 years ago, we wanted to make our industry known. The quality of the wines has increased since then, and today, people really want to discover the products from here. The younger generation also responds very well. It’s encouraging. ”
Spokesperson for the Harvest Festival, sommelier Jessica Harnois, for her part, says that the quality of the products offered by Quebec producers explains in large part why the annual meeting is so successful. And she says consumers in the province have a much better understanding of wine today.
“In the tent where I do my Vegas Tastings, I see that people know wine better than before and make more specific comments when they talk about it. We have gradually built an army of Quebec wine enthusiasts, “says Ms. Harnois.
In addition, the spokeswoman for the Harvest Festival believes that the organizers of the Magogois happening made the right choice by deciding to open the door to beer producers in 2019. “Quebecers are great fans so it’s a very good idea, “she judges.
“It’s still improving”
Patricia Bolton-East resident Patricia considers herself a “regular” at the annual event. She participated in the happening several times and takes advantage of the latter to make discoveries of all kinds.
“I think this holiday is constantly improving. There are always new products and it’s interesting to come here. Me, I consume a lot of things that come from Quebec and the offer we find at the party is very good. There is nothing missing. ”
Living in Saint-Hilaire, Chloe Leblanc notes that the Wine Festival has no surprises for wine lovers. “People looking for products like cheeses or salad dressings, for example, also have their place here. It’s not just for the vineyards that it’s worth it. And then even street food trucks are good, “she says.
Ms. Leblanc adds that the site’s development and the activities offered on it, shows, demonstrations, tastings and more, have moreover everything to please. “What’s more fun is that the people we meet here are in a good mood,” she says.
As a shareholder of the Sugar Shack at La Pied de Puche, Laure Depla took part as an exhibitor in the tent reserved for spirits producers. She appreciated her experience.
“It was a first presence for us here. It was great. It is obvious that the temperature plays a lot when we talk about activities outside, but we felt well integrated into the party while being in a tent apart from the big top and we had more beautiful days in terms of traffic, “says Ms. Depla.
Like other exhibitors, the latter notes that visitors are fond of new products. “People taste a lot and are not afraid to try new things. It’s nice, “she admits.
The return party to downtown?
The president of the Magog-Orford Harvest Festival, Jean-Paul Scieur, admits he was worried that work in progress in downtown Magog will significantly reduce traffic during the 26th edition of the event. The impact of this major project, however, was less than expected.
“For us, these works in the center of Magog were disturbing, but we are pleased to note that their impact on traffic was rather weak. In the end, it may not be so surprising because a large portion of our visitors come from the corner of Montreal and do not have to go through the city center to get to Merry Point, “says M Sawyer.
It should be remembered that work valued at more than $ 20 million was started last spring in the heart of the municipality. The City of Magog specifically ordered the complete reconstruction of a long stretch of Main Street. The last phase of the project will be completed during the first half of 2020.
Work in consultation
Since the downtown area will be much more welcoming next summer, the Wine Harvest Festival would like to hold some activities on site during its 2020 edition, just to ensure that Magog vibrates fully to the rhythm of the event.
“With its larger sidewalks, the downtown area will be particularly welcoming next year. I would like us to work again with local stakeholders to create life here during our 2020 edition. It will be necessary to do this in a harmonious way, also involving the City of Magog and even the Quebec Ministry of Transport , if necessary, “insists Jean-Paul Scieur.
Mr. Scieur mentions the possibility of organizing special activities in collaboration with the many restaurants located in downtown Magog. Music groups could also offer performances in the sector during the 2020 edition of the Harvest Festival.