Today on World Footprints we celebrate Canada’s Francophone roots in the Quebec region as we walk in the footsteps of history at the New France Festival in Quebec City. Plus, we’ll visit an Augustinian Monastery turned holistic spa and we’ll talk to an Old World wine merchant.
The walled fortifications in Old Quebec make Quebec City one of the most romantic and picturesque places to explore on foot. We explore the heart and soul of the city with Marc Duchesne of Cicerone Tours.
For five days every August, Quebec City celebrates its connection to France with the New France Festival. The actors and festival-goers enjoy food and folly in their period costumes representing the peasant, bourgeois and royalty classes. (Our costumes represented the bourgeois class.) Melanie Raymond, the festival’s Executive Director, shares the essence of one of North America’s best festivals.
The New France Festival has its share of ingenious characters like historian and outdoorsman Billy Rioux, aka “Billy the Adventurer”. He displayed the canoe that he carved from a spruce bark and entertained visitors with stories about early settlers and their interaction with the indigenous population.
Then, we took a detour to the Charlevoix Region and visited Domaine de la Vallee du Bras where we did some wine tasting—tomato wine. The vineyard is the first in the world to make this unique wine under the Omerto label. Pascal Miche and his wife Stephanie Hott told us the story about how they started this unique wine in between sips. Spoiler alert: The wine is very tasty—surprisingly tasty.
Finally, we shined a spotlight on le Monastere des Augustines. The home of the Augustinian Sisters has found a new mission as a center for holistic health, healing and hospitality in the heart of Quebec City. We also enjoyed a conversation with the Merchant de Boisson at the New France Festival. He delighted us with tales of the challenges he had importing wines from the Old World to New France at the urging of the noblesse oblige.