Aventure Outaouais’ Pontiac Wine and Cider Tour— A treat for the senses and the region
Aventure Outaouais’ Pontiac Wine and Cider tour features three Pontiac wineries and one cider mill on a tour that is replete with local flavours, stunning views of the Pontiac and, as an added bonus, current and historical facts about the region.
For example, did you know that the Pontiac is among the poorest counties in the province of Quebec? This is in large part because the county’s economy is reliant on agriculture.
Aventure Outaouais was founded by Brandon Bolduc, an Aylmer native, with a vision to “get the Outaouais on the tourism map.” In 2020, Bolduc was working on his PhD in Public Policy at the University of Ottawa with research on municipal politics and local development; however, mid-way through that year, his research was put to a stop by the Covid-19 pandemic. At that point, Bolduc said, “I decided to walk away in order to start Aventure Outaouais.” He shifted gears and started travelling around the Outaouais. “In two years, I put 100,000 km on my car just exploring the four corners of the region.”
Bolduc discovered countless hidden gems, including local wineries and the Coronation Hall Cider Mills that would later make up his Pontiac Wine and Cider tour. However, he also found a major impediment to tourism in the Outaouais: a lack of information. “I’m fully bilingual, and I found it incredibly hard to find information on what there is in the area,” said Bolduc, noting that several factors are at play. For many of these small business owners, simply keeping their business running is work enough. To market their business or build a website and keep it up to date is just not accessible to all, not to mention that internet connection isn’t available or strong in parts of the Pontiac. He also heard from local business owners that there is a lack of road signage, which means that people drive by without any indication of what they’re driving past.
Bolduc concluded that Aventure Outaouais could serve as a bridge between tourists and local businesses. In so doing, he could develop the tourism industry in the Outaouais while also helping small business owners by providing them with free marketing and clientele. In return, he would gain their partnership to build awesome local tours.
Bolduc is a firm believer in partnerships. “We follow a low margin, high value business model,” he said. Aventure Outaouais compensates each of its partners a hosting sum per person on the tour and does not take a commission from their sales. Additionally, the tours bring in busloads of people on a consistent basis—a volume they could not achieve on their own.
Bolduc said that he hears on a consistent basis from people on his Pontiac Wine and Cider tour that they had no idea there were wineries or a cider mill in the Pontiac. He’s changing that one tour at a time.
For more information on Aventure Outaouais’ Pontiac Wine and Cider tour and their numerous other tours, visit their website: https://www.aventureoutaouais.ca/
The Pontiac Wine and Cider tour includes stops at:
The Domaine de Pontiac Village winery and vintage car museum in Quyon; the Little Red Wagon Winery in Shawville; the Vignoble Les Collines in Pontiac; and the Coronation Hall Cider Mills in Bristol.
Photo caption: Brandon Bolduc, the founder of Aventure Outaouais, kneels in front of a group of wine and cider lovers on his Pontiac Wine and Cider Tour, June 17.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Aventure Outaouais.