Érable Rouge

Mélissa Pépin - passionate ambassador


Welcome to Saint-Valère

Located close to the region’s main roads, Saint-Valère is known for its fertile land and rural landscape.

Built in the Bulstrode municipality, the area’s industries were related to the sale of potash. The wood processing industry and a tannery also played a part in the region’s collective history.

Named in honour of Valère Guillet, one of the municipal commissioners who worked actively to obtain a municipality status, Saint-Valère now has 1,350 residents.
 

3324, route 161, Saint-Valère

On route 161, just a few minutes from the junction of Highway 20, you will find l’Érable Rouge. This sugar shack is almost impossible to miss thanks to its striking red roof. 
 

Welcome to l'Érable Rouge!

Mélissa Fleury grew up in a family of 5 children and she became a maple syrup producer and the sole owner of l'Érable Rouge in 2009. She’s currently living her dream of reviving old-fashioned sweets and giving today’s families a chance to enjoy their delicious flavours.


Mélissa’s parents were farmers and also had a sugar shack not too far from where l'Érable Rouge is located. From a very young age, she learned to work the land and transform maple water. Mélissa was always on the lookout for new products and new ways to showcase her sugar shack throughout the seasons, so she created a saffron farm and skating paths. 

This means that the sugar shack is open starting in the fall for those who want to visit the saffron farm and go pumpkin picking. In the winter, visitors can visit the sugar shack in a beautiful winter setting, while skating along the frozen paths that are also used to collect maple water. Then when spring comes around, you guessed it! It’s the wonderful craziness of the maple sugaring season!
 

An old-fashioned sugar shack

When Mélissa bought l'Érable Rouge, she decided that she wouldn’t change the traditional methods of harvesting maple water. This sugar shack uses a boiler and traditional tapping systems. 

However, this approach has its fair amount of challenges because it means that a lot less maple water can be collected compared to modern tubing systems. The manual labour involved is more demanding and less productive. Nevertheless, it is this method that makes the experience more authentic than other sugar shacks.


L’Érable Rouge now has about 2,500 taps, but it has a much higher potential

Mealtime like the olden days

The maple sugaring period at l'Érable Rouge, means serving more than 300 people at each meal.

In a cozy and musical atmosphere, visitors will be able to share the many traditional dishes that are served at the sugar shack. If you are gluten intolerant or if you’re a vegetarian, l'Érable Rouge can adjust the meal upon request.

Their famous maple syrup pie

Do you want to get a taste of l'Érable Rouge’s sweet treats? Mélissa makes many different products to showcase the sugar shack’s many merchandises.

During the sugaring season: dig into a delicious maple syrup pie. This is not to be confused with the traditional sugar pie. Maple syrup pie is all about the maple syrup!

During the skating season: Mélissa created a really tasty chocolate pie. Let’s just say you’ll be good to go for the skating! During this period, you can also enjoy maple taffy and pea soup. 

In the shop, you can buy some saffron and maple products. 

 

Maple taffy on snow

A true tradition in sugar shacks, taffy on snow is a Quebec speciality that you have to try.

Maple taffy is made from maple syrup that is heated to 113.5 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the consistency of the syrup increases. 

The hot taffy is placed directly on a table filled with clean and well-compacted snow. The taffy cools and freezes, then it’s ready to enjoy.
Traditionally, visitors use either a wood paddle or a popsicle stick to gather the taffy on snow. 
 

Horse-drawn sleigh ride

To enhance your visit during sugaring season, why not take a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh so you can discover the sugar bush?

You can also stop by the farm to see a few other animals. 
 

The saffron shop at l'Érable Rouge


The saffron shop was created in 2016. After seeing a report about this crop, Mélissa decided to a craft a saffron field on the sugar bush’s arable land. 

In 2017, the saffron farm had 10,000 plants. For those would like to learn more about this crop, the saffron farm can be visited by appointment in October, during flowering and harvesting month. When the maple trees are in full colour, you can access the saffron fields.

The guided tour includes a hot saffron beverage and a saffron snack.
 

Enjoy your visit

For more information about the sugar shack, the saffron farm, pumpkin picking or the skating paths, you can visit the Érable Rouge website.
 



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English version: Vitrine gourmande Centre-du-Québec goûtez-y

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