After years of perfecting our knowledge, given the increasingly mild temperatures and the quality of the terroir, we wanted to expand our range of grape varieties and offer Quebecers limited and very personal cuvées, for the pleasure of sharing and discovery. These Signature Cuvées are made from Vitis vinifera grape varietals.
A Vitis vinifera is originally a variety of European grape vine qualified as “noble”. For example, chardonnay, gewurztraminer, cabernet franc and riesling are grape varietals that come from the Vitis vinifera family.
The rigours of winter are truly the only challenge that sets us apart from most other wine regions in the world. In southern Quebec, the vegetative (or frost-free) season experiences temperatures as warm as those of other regions such as Kelowna (Okanagan), British Columbia, upper Burgundy, Alsace, Loire, Switzerland, or Malborough (New Zealand).
The length of the growing season in 1982 was 130 days, we now have 185 days. Quite a change in 39 years!
Vitis vinifiera are more sensitive to extreme temperatures. Thanks to a technique created in Quebec, these grape varieties are now successfully cultivated using geotextile fabrics. In the fall the vines are covered with those canvas and they recover the heat from the ground during the winter (geothermal energy). During cold winters, up to 10 degrees Celsius can be gained under the canvas, thus protecting the plants from severe cold. The resistance of the Vitis vinifera to the cold is generally -20 Celsius. Below this temperature, the vine is damaged by frost.
According to the most recent data from the Conseil des vins du Québec, Vitis vinifera grapes represent 12% of the vines in the province. The balance of the areas (88%) are vines from various French-American hybrids.
To begin with, our Cuvées Signature consists of a chardonnay, a cabernet franc (both are aged in oak barrels for one year) and a gewurztraminer. Other wines will be added to these varieties over the years to come. Those three wines are only available at the vineyard at $28 and in a few specialty food stores. Be careful, these wines are very lightly filtered and can contain a lot of love!
Chardonnay is a very old grape, originally from Burgundy, France. It is one of the most cultivated white grape varieties in the world.
Native to northern Italy, gewurztraminer was introduced to Alsace (France) around 1870. It is also cultivated in Germany, New Zealand and the United States.
Probably from the Bordeaux region (France), cabernet franc is also very popular in the Loire Valley. It can be found today in around twenty countries in Europe and around the world.