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Chapelle Sainte Agnès
by
Terry Sullivan

Chapelle Sainte AgnesSummary: Perhaps one of the most peaceful sites in Quebec, Chapelle Sainte Agnès beckons wine travelers to experience the land, nature, and structures. It will not take long after arriving that you will decide that you do not want to leave. You can spend several hours on the grounds.

We met John Anthony who was very energetic in telling the story of Chapelle Sainte Agnès. John said, “We built a chapel. Then the chapel needed a vineyard. The vineyard needed a chateau. A chateau needs to make wine.” We visited each of those sites as we learned about the Chapelle Sainte Agnès.

 

Chapelle Sainte AgnesThe Chapel

It was John’s mother, Henrietta who had the chapel built in 1993. It does not appear that recent. The chapel looks much older even centuries old. The French craftsmen who built the chapel constructed it to look like it was erected many centuries ago. Henrietta named the chapel after Sainte Agnès a thirteenth century Bohemian saint. The chapel exudes peace. It has a calming influence on passersby.

Inside, seven honey colored pews provide seating. There are three altars and a number of sacred artifacts. Henrietta collected ecclesiastical artifacts over a 45 year period. One artifact is a cross dating from the 12th century. The doors of the chapel are from Burgundy, France. The solid oak doors were crafted during the reign of Louis IV. There are three stained glass windows from Germany dating from the 17th century. The chapel makes a memorable site for a small wedding.

Chapelle Sainte Agnes

Chapelle Sainte AgnesVineyards

“A chapel needs vineyards.” Henrietta Anthony started planting the first vines in 1997. The vineyards resemble many that we have seen on hillsides in Europe. The land slopes down to a heart-shaped pond. There are currently 2.5 hectares (6 acres) of vines including Riesling, Vidal, Gewürztraminer, Geisenheim, Marquette and Frontenac. Each vine is individually staked. During the winter the vines are covered with a geotextile material.

Chapelle Sainte AgnesThe vineyard is planted on a hillside with 18 terraces made of stone walls. The gravel soil is ideal for grapevines and retains heat. Because of the terraced vineyard, most of the vineyard work is done by hand. The pruning, spraying and harvesting is carefully done. Grapes harvested for Icewine are sometimes covered by the snow. Only once; however, did vineyard workers have to dig a trench through the snow and then carefully search for and remove the grapes.

Chateau

“A vineyard needs a chateau.” Including the tower, the chateau has Chapelle Sainte Agnesseveral levels. From the tower one can see impressive views of the property and neighboring Vermont, less than a mile away. John invited us to climb the tower and experience these fantastic views. There is a love seat at the top of the tower; it is a romantic setting.

There are many rooms in the chateau. The great room is long and narrow. It provides a great reception area for large groups including weddings, anniversaries and business events. A loft overlooking the great room offers sofas and chairs for a quieter setting. Works of art and antiques adorn the walls throughout the chateau.

In a lower level, smaller rooms are set up for wine tastings. Still lower is the cellar where wines are carefully stored on arched brick between brick columns. The wine making rooms are also on this lower level.

Sainte AgnesWines

“A chateau needs to make wine.” We tasted several Chapelle Sainte Agnès wines in one of the lower level rooms. Our wine tasting room had a long table, antique furnishings including a suit of armor. The arched ceiling and subdued lighting created an old world atmosphere.

The 2012 Vin Blanc sec was a blend of Vidal and Geisenheim. The aroma and taste offered yellow stone fruit and floral notes. The finish was crisp and fruity. The 2012 Vin Rosé was a blend of Vidal, Geisenheim and Gewürztraminer. The light red with a pink tint wine had red fruit on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp. The 2012 Geisenheim Icewine was a dark gold color. The aroma had hazelnut and floral notes while the taste offered nuts and yellow stone fruit. The sweet finish was also crisp with fruit yielding to nuts. The Vin Doux Naturel was made from a mixture of vineyard grapes. The red colored wine was reminiscent of dried fruits.

When planning to visit Chapelle Sainte Agnès allow for extra time. One can easily spend a half to a whole day at this wonderful site.

Chapelle Sainte Agnès
2565 Route Scenic
Sutton, Quebec, Canada J0E 2K0

GPS: N45º 01.452’ W72º 34.949’

 

Article written June 2013


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