Wednesday, 29. May 2013
At Vignoble de la Rivière du Chène we met an intern from France. Before she came to Quebec, people asked her why she wanted to go to Quebec. Can they make wine and grow grapes there? This is similar to a statement made to me about the lack of grape growing in the province. Kathy and I visited three wineries yesterday, each had a vineyard. One vineyard was organic and workers were on the vineyard pulling out weeds. Another vineyard was quite large for the area 16.5 hectares (41 acres). This vineyard was planted with hybrid grapes, however they are experimenting with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The third vineyard we walked in had plantings of French hybrids as well as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay.
Yes there are vineyards in Quebec and yes some are growing some vinifera while most are growing many different hybrids. Depending on the area it can get cold during the winters in Quebec. Snow offers the best protection. The vines are kept low to the ground, low enough to be covered by a blanket of snow. A grower can not count on snow so other methods of protecting vines are needed when the temperatures drop to -23ºC to even -35ºC in some areas (-10ºF to -31ºF). Covering the vines with soil in the fall is one method that will protect the vines from the cold winters. Other growers are experimenting with geo textile coverings that act like a blanket. The geo textile covering can be reused for a few years. Wine grape growers have determined ways to protect vines so that they can grow and survive Quebec winters.
Yes there are vineyards in Quebec. Some growers are even growing vinifera grapes. Many growers are discovering the best hybrid varieties that can flourish in this region. Wine is made in Quebec with grapes grown in this province. Consider visiting the wineries in the province and discover the taste of the place.