We decided to come up in March this year with the hopes of hitting sugar shack season. I called too late to get reservations at Martin Picard's PDC Cabane d' Sucre (so that will be on next year's list) so we decided to take a ride out into the countryside near the Richelieu river and eat at Erabliere Charbonneau in Mont St-Gregoire.
Erabliere Charbonneau is located about 40 minutes from downtown Montreal on the slopes of Mont St Gregoire. There are maple trees for syrup and extensive apple orchards. Something for many seasons. The sugar "shack" is actually a large, multi-roomed, honey colored log building with broad covered verandas. There is a nice fire pit with swings and benches. The only problem for our visit? It was 72 degrees!! No snow. No fireplace. But there was still great food and maple syrup.
We sat at a table in a high ceiling room humming with happy voices of happy eaters. We had:
pickled tomato relish
white bean soup
maple covered sausage
meat pies (absolutely yummy)
maple sugar pie
All with a BIG carafe of maple syrup
After stuffing ourselves, we walked around the property out to the apple orchards. Visited the little "barnyard" where there were goats, a very inquisitive llama, and turkeys (apparently Annette is a "turkey whisperer:" because she got the male to "chat" with her.)
We stopped in the "syrup making" building where they were finishing up the last of the syrup for the season. Apparently the high temps of the last week (and especially of the past few days) has caused the sap to slow down. They said the "water" or sap is now cloudy which means it isn't good. So their work is done for the season. I'm pretty sure they would have hoped for at least a few more weeks.
|where they make the maple syrup|
|Making maple syrup "pops"|