Our Commitment to the Earth
Beyond our organic and biodynamic certifications, we take our responsibility towards nature and humanity very seriously. Each decision is made with sustainable development and circular economy in mind.
Experience has taught us that a varied biodiversity helps maintain a healthy soil balance. Allowing the local flora to grow in the space between rows creates a symbiotic relationship with the vines where the emerging ecosystem is naturally preserved. Surrounding the allotments, the untouched vegetation and the majestic forest form a haven for pollinators, other insects, amphibians and animals who also form part of the vineyard’s biodiversity. We proudly accept this duty of care towards all organic life affected by our endeavours. Aware of the environmental stakes of viticulture and the repercussions to our own health, we are always looking to minimise the number of procedures needed. For this reason, copper has been reduced by 80% and replaced by garlic extracts, whey and/or citrus essential oils in our fungi disease control program.
Allowing nature to take care of nature
Prevention is better than cure: by really knowing and understanding our vines we can tend to their need and naturally strengthen them without recourse to chemicals or synthetic products. Instead, we use rain water to create biodynamic herbal mixtures that optimise growing conditions while helping the vines resist insect infestations, fungal attacks and diseases by increasing their natural defences. Our composted organic biodynamic manure from a Martinville goat dairy farm also plays an important role by deep fertilising the soil. Over time, biodynamic practices reduce additional procedures and produce quality and healthy fare.
Reducing our environmental impact
While planning our vineyard, we wanted to limit our ecological footprint to a minimum. Geothermal principles were used for our winery, which benefits from natural air regulation therefore requiring very little energy consumption in winter.
In addition, windows overlooking the fermentation tanks help the cold air circulate and minimize the need to use electricity for the tartaric stabilization. Most of the construction materials have been sourced locally; for example Eastern Townships pine, Sherbrooke slate and wood from Outaouais River log drives.
Following the same principle, the marketing equipment needed for our wines have also been chosen for their low environmental impact. In our fields, local meteorological stations and the fences protecting our vines from predators rely on solar power.
Extraordinary meetings and connections shape our lives. For us, sharing ideas and expertise with winemakers and oenologists, who were are as generous with their time as with their knowledge, was crucial in paving our way.
It is now our turn to impart our know-how of durable local production with aspiring agriculturists, horticulture students and future sommeliers. In collaboration with MAPAQ, we also take part in a mentoring program to guide budding winemakers.
To help protect and expand organic viticultural areas in our region, we encourage local producers in maintaining organic grape growing practices and we buy their harvested fruit at very competitive prices. With all the bottles we need, glass recycling is of primary importance to us; we were actively involved in the Canton de Hatley glass recycling project of 2019.
Even though it is not yet possible to reuse the Champagne-style bottles in our production process, recycling glass separately from cardboard and plastic still remains the best way to lengthen the life of glass bottles and avoid them piling up in landfill sites.
We are always happy to collaborate with various local artists and enterprises who can make use of our raw materials. For example, we donate the bottles damaged or wasted during disgorging of our wines to a recycled glass lighting enterprise. Our grape marc is often scooped up by beer and cider producers to include in their fermentation process... and was even used as a base for natural paints by a local artist for a new line of accessories.
Rethink our procedures to reduce our footprint
Since the beginning, we have worked with and for nature. Although we know it’s impossible to have no impact whatsoever on our environment, we are constantly seeking to reduce our footprint. This is the main reason we have chosen to continue planting hybrid vines for this new two-year planting period started in 2022. Their genetic make-up provides better protection against fungal diseases and our harsh northern climate than their european counterpart’s, which reduces greatly the need for interference and treatments.
The winemaking process requires specialized equipment that has to be imported from outside our region and, at times, from other countries. We take particular care in choosing supplies and suppliers with as small an environmental footprint as possible. In 2020, we introduced a new and innovative concept in Québec: sparkling wine in aluminium cans. Québec aluminium, which is widely recycled locally, offers a compelling alternative to glass. Since then, many vineyards have followed suit. We are always searching for solutions to adapt to our terroir and to minimise our impact on our soil and the environment. We see it as our duty as responsible winemakers.