a thriving vineyard on
a respectful scale
The winegrowers, Marc Théberge and Eve Rainville, dreamed about their Domaine Bergeville for 14 years. Now a reality, this dream thrives on values stemming from respect:
• Respect for their fellow men and women is demonstrated through the certifications obtained by the winegrowers;
• The vines and terrain adapted to Quebec respect the environment; and
• The optimization of field work protects the vines and takes its cues from the Earth’s rhythm.
Synergy, the essence of a biodynamic and organic vineyard
Domaine Bergeville began as a vision, a dream that was cherished and nurtured for 14 years. The story of the vineyard is about synergy: synergy between the winegrowers, but also between individuals and their community, people and the earth… Marc Théberge and Eve Rainville met as teenagers. Their 22 years as a team couple have reinforced their individual strengths.
Self-taught, Marc’s resourcefulness and Masters in electronic engineering gives him the ability and strategic creativity to face and resolve the challenges of being a winegrower.
A vineyard is always evolving: Eve’s role is to manage and administer not only the day-to-day operations but also the various research and development projects needed for the vineyard to flourish.
Their love for authenticity surfaced during their travels, visiting vineyards around the globe. They believe in respecting the ecosystem and in the importance of protecting the land, namely through organic culture. They also realized that their family’s quality of life would greatly increase by being closer to nature, and this led them towards organic and biodynamic agriculture for their vineyard, their dream. With the guidance of leading agronomists and œnologists, Marc and Eve produce wines that live up to their personal credo: hand-crafted with care, considerate to both people and environment… and genuinely Québécois.
Harmony, commitment and evolution: the 3 pillars of respect
Respect leads the quest for harmony between human beings and the earth : the winegrowers protect and care for the vineyard more than they profit from it.
Conventional viticulture takes from the earth without much concern for the future of the land. Organic viticulture aims to return what it takes from the vineyard. Biodynamics nourishes the earth globally, more than simply harvesting its fruits.
The winegrowers were involved in every stage of production. They planted the vines, equipped the vineyard, designed and built their winery. Their commitment is shared with their family and friends: planting and harvesting are great celebrations that blend friendship and enthusiasm.You can meet Marc and Eve when you stop by the winery for a tasting. Through their curiosity and their desire to always improve their methods, the chosen vines flourish. The vineyard is constantly evolving and so are the sparkling wines, reflecting the winegrower’s passion.
Although the end product is an alcoholic sparkling wine, it is possible to follow a health-friendly process.To do so, the winegrowers have obtained organic and biodynamic certifications. Respect for the environment and for its fruits is, for them, the first step towards a healthy celebration.
Certified Wine of Québec
The land at its best:
perfectly adapted grapes and soil
Everything is nurtured in a way that allows the land to work to the full extent of its capabilities, no more, no less. The vineyard only plants vines that are adapted to the Québec climate.
St-Pepin, Acadie Blanc, Frontenac, Radisson… These grapevine names evoke the settlement of the territory of Quebec, and the vine varieties inspired by these settlers prove, year after year, that they can flourish in la Belle Province. They produce authentic sparkling wines that proudly represent their home land.
Between 2009 and 2017, 12 000 vines were planted on 3 hectares, or 30 000 square meters.
Vines in the same row are set only 3 feet apart, which is less than a meter. The space between rows is 6.5 feet, or 2 meters. This density triggers the vines’s sense of survival and helps to produce better grapes. The plants grow deeper roots to absorb the required water and minerals. Irrigation becomes unnecessary, except when planting.
The soil of the vineyard, a mix of silt and sand, is the result of glaciation and geophysical movements of this region, where rocks of all types can be found. Perhaps the winegrowers will one day strike gold… At least, this is what they keep telling themselves, each spring, when they remove countless stones from the land parcels. Just another source of motivation!
Working the land:
keeping pace with the vines
The global strategy at Domaine Bergeville reinforces the vines’ immune system, making them more resistant to diseases and predators. Prevention is key: the winegrowers do not wait for problems to surface before taking action.
The vines usually budburst in May, meaning that their buds burst open after the first pruning. This spring pruning eliminates the unwanted branches from the previous year. The winegrowers manually prune their 8 000 vines with the help of a small dedicated team.
From April to June, the vines receive many natural treatments in order to protect them from parasites and fungus during their growth.
Since there is no plastic mulches around the vines, mechanical and manual weeding is necessary. This is done on a biweekly basis, from May to October.
A controlled growth period
In June, the vines are ”trellised”, i.e. they are attached to lifting wires in order to limit their natural vigour. During the months of July and August, they are then “topped”, i.e. they are pruned above the lifting wires and on each side of the rows. Combined with leaf stripping, topping optimizes veraison: at this stage, the color of the grape begins to change, a sign that the fruit is ripening.
After the veraison, the ripening grapes attract birds. How to protect the grapes? The winemakers cover the vines with kilometers of nets.
Mineral and plant-based biodynamic preparations improve growing conditions when necessary, and help the vines resist fungal attacks by triggering their natural defences. Extreme situations sometimes call for minimal applications of Bordeaux mixture, composed of copper and lime or of garlic, bacillus subtilis and lactoserum-based products.
Time to harvest
The grapes have reached their desired levels of sugar and acidity… It is now time to harvest! This step marks the beginning of vinification.
However, the work in the field continues. The soil receives timely inputs and biodynamic applications that also affect the vines, making for an efficient and ideal lignification… What is lignification? It is when the vines start gathering energy to survive the winter.
This process starts in August, but lasts throughout the fall: the warmer the season, the more energy the vines can gather.
Winter is not a period of rest for the vines or for the winegrowers. While the vines prepare for their next growth season, the winegrowers maintain the equipment, the accessories, the buildings… And plan and prepare for the next season.