L’Orpailleur is located in Dunham, in the Eastern Townships, near the American border. Enjoy this visit and feel free to come and see us at the vineyard where you can find our products, visit our facilities and discover an area of the province where most Québec wines are produced. Follow the wine route and don’t miss our restaurant in season and our banquet hall all year round.
Established in 1845 Dunham was the first township of Lower-Canada and also the first town in Québec to see large vineyards establish themselves and win international prizes for their wines. On route 202 stood a little white wooden house, an old inn where carriages and travellers would stop at the turn of the last century. Behind it: vines, 14 hectares of maturing grapes. This is where the Orpailleur was born and lives on.
In 1982 French winegrowers Hervé Durand and Charles-Henri de Coussergues along with their Québécois associate, producer Frank Furtado, decided to take the plunge. Pierre Rodrigue joined the team in 1985. Together they persisted in defying our challenging climate by applying vine producing methods adapted from Northern Europe and the USSR. For the most part, it consists in ridging-up the roots in the fall to protect them from the cold and ploughing them back in the spring, when the ground thaws out.
After three years of hard work, in the fall of 1985, the vineyard’s first harvest produced 15,000 bottles of a delicious white wine named L’Orpailleur by Gilles Vigneault, meaning “gold gatherer”.