The Vineyard blows out 40 candles and acquires Union Libre

Le Vignoble souffle 40 bougies et fait l'acquisition d'Union Libre

Montreal, June 14, 2022 – A pioneer in its industry and the first Quebec vineyard to have sold its wine at the SAQ, the Vignoble de l'Orpailleur is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Located in Dunham in the Eastern Townships, the vineyard was founded by four enthusiasts, Hervé Durand, Charles-Henri de Coussergues, Frank Furtado and Pierre Rodrigue who are still linked in this great human adventure 40 years later. L'Orpailleur was also the first Quebec vineyard to study the principle of sustainable viticulture and to adopt it in 1996.

The four founders of l'Orpailleur

From left to right: Hervé Durand, Charles-Henri de Coussergues, Pierre Rodrigue and Frank Furtado.

A leading wine tourism destination in Quebec, the Vignoble de l'Orpailleur has been welcoming visitors since 1985 and introducing them to the work of the artisan winemaker in a northern climate. The Vineyard has an agritourism site, the Economuseum of the winegrower and a restaurant Le Tire-Bouchon. L'Orpailleur also marked an important turning point in its history this year with the acquisition of the Vignoble et verger Union Libre. To mark this anniversary, a sparkling rosé wine is also entering the large Orpailleur family, as well as a book signed by Hervé Durand; The Goldpailleur Vineyard | 40 years! 1982-2022 .

Orpailleur vineyard

In 1984, Gilles Vigneault, the creator of the name "L'Orpailleur", said of the wines of the vineyard: "From the Dunham vineyard to your glass ... it is authentically from here".​​ – Charles- Henri de Coussergues – Winemaker co-owner of l'Orpailleur


Because l'Orpailleur firmly believes in the great potential and the future of Quebec vitiviniculture, acquiring Union Libre fits naturally into the course of their history. Created in 2010, Union Libre has become, over the years, a flourishing vineyard and orchard of 70 acres, endowed with an interesting grape variety, more than 30,000 very well kept vines and producing high quality grapes. Located on a hillside with a magnificent view and a direct west exposure, this makes this brand a privileged place for viticulture. In addition, Union Libre has its own terroir, distinct from that of Orpailleur.

Union Libre cider and wine

Union Libre apple trees and vines

“For a winegrower, what an opportunity and luck to have a very different terroir a few meters from his vineyard! »
​ – Charles-Henri de Coussergues – Winemaker co-owner of l'Orpailleur

L'Orpailleur is located on the first foothills of the Appalachian chain, and on ancient beaches of the Champlain Sea (sand and gravel) at an altitude of 130m (height above sea level). Its soil is characterized by glacial deposits, a heterogeneous mixture of gravel, pebbles, limestone, shale and even slate in places. The exceptional terroir of Orpailleur is thus composed of an amalgam of clay, sand, gravel and boulders.

Terroir of the Orpailleur Vineyard

The terroir of the Vignoble de l'Orpailleur.

Located at an altitude of 170m above sea level, Union Libre is located on a hillside that has a completely different history. These are soils that have remained wooded for millennia, thus giving different soils rich in minerals and organic matter, all resting on slate strata. This expression of the terroir is found in its wines characterized by a distinct freshness and minerality. An exceptional terroir for exceptional wines.

The land of Union Libre

The land of Union Libre

Today, the winemaker and co-founder of the Vignoble, Charles-Henri surrounds himself with two of his daughters and his son-in-law: Laure, communications manager, Sarah, viti-viniculture technician then Alain Bazinet, vineyard manager. . The quartet therefore works together to highlight Quebec wine products.

Coussergues family

Charles-Henri de Coussergues and his granddaughter Aurélie, the winegrower's daughters Sarah and Laure de Coussergues, his grandsons Louis and Samuel and his son-in-law Alain Bazinet.

Union Libre is already marked by its history; we are going to continue the work done so far, that is to say preserve its terroir, develop the production of quality wines, with unique expressions. This with its own grapes, its vinification and aging in its cellars, the welcome within its walls. Quebec viticulture is still very young and in full development; several vineyards are expanding, while others will be born. L'Orpailleur is part of this movement by bringing its experience to Union Libre. The gold panner lives! » – Charles-Henri de Coussergues – Winemaker co-owner of l’Orpailleur


L'Orpailleur, a pioneering vineyard in its industry in Quebec, planted its first vines in 1982 in the beautiful Dunham Valley. Its winemaker and co-owner Charles-Henri de Coussergues, also ex-president of the association of winegrowers of Quebec and currently president of the Association of Agrotourism and Gourmet Tourism, is the precursor of the advancement of the wine industry in Quebec and defender of the implementation and evolution of many laws that promote the influence of Quebec vineyards in Canada and abroad. With the support of Quebecers, it remains today the leader in the Wines of Quebec category with four of its wines sold in SAQ and available in more than 300 branches.


Union Libre cidre et vin, both a vineyard and an orchard, is inspired by the union of the two cultures as well as the fire-ice duality to create ciders and wines characterized by a distinct freshness and minerality. Union Libre cidre & vin continues to innovate in order to bring new products to the market that encourage drinking to the last drop!

Press relations | Thara Communications
Thara Tremblay-Nantel | 514-208-6897 |

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