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Women! I drink to you who laugh at the path Where the Ideal calls me by opening its rosy arms;

Femmes ! je bois à vous qui riez du chemin où l'Idéal m'appelle en ouvrant ses bras roses;


Émile Nelligan (La romance du vin -1899)

 

Our type of vines

 

The vine is a long-lived and woody climbing plant. From a systematic point of view, the vine is a plant with seed (Spermatophyte). It forms part of the family of the Vitacea. The European vine, cultivated since millennia, gave rise to thousands of cultivars. In more of the ' Nobles' species, it is necessary to add a growing number of hybrid vines (Vitis X) resulting from intentional crossings or between different species.

The vine is a plant of full sun. Ideally it should be exposed from sun rise to sun down.

The temperature is a crucial factor in the culture of the vine, particularly in Quebec where we are in extreme Northern limit of this culture on the American continent. The quantity of heat (degrees day) available during the season of growth will determine if the fruits of such cultivar will have time to mature at a given place.

The minimal temperatures of winter will also be determining the choice of the cultivars and the methods of cultures. The type of vines known as Vitis vinifera are damaged by cold starting from -15°C. It is thus essential to protect them, most convenient being to butt them underneath 45 centimetres of ground before the winter. The measured minimal temperature last winter (2005-2006) inside the hillock was between - 10 °C and - 11°C (we had three termometers in three different places) even if the cover of snow was almost inexistant per moments...

At the opposite spectrum, certain American and French rustic hybrid species can tolerate cold oscillating between -15°C and -28°C without major problems. They could be led high above ground without the fruit-bearing buds being damaged by the cold.


The vine can be cultivated in several types of ground provided that it is well drained. Stagnant water is mortal for the vine. One recommends a slope of at least 2 %. On our premises the rather heavy ground, mainly made of drifts called ' till', is composed of sandy clay sediments of marine and lake origin. These very fertile clays are grey and red and can have a depth of 18 to 25 meters by places.

The vines are very easy to multiply. However, whatever the method used, cuttings, grafts, layering, it should be remembered that vines are unable to form adventitious buds. It is necessary thus obligatorily that the section being used for the multiplication has a bud at least so that the plant develops a stem. While using the method by cloning, we cut a vine shoot with at least three eyes and we hide at least two in the ground as we plant them. If the buds are alive at the time setting the ground, (in spring) you will have during the summer a small young vine identical to the seedling mother; a clone. For the grafted seedlings, it is a little more complex and lengthy to be explained here...

 

Vitis Vinifera

( From - 15°C the fruit-bearing buds die )

 

Chardonnay ( 1,000 plants )

Vitis Vinifera, the noble type of vine of the white wines, Chardonnay is the white type of vine most known around the whole world. This type of vine is present in the majority of the countries where vines are cultivated, and its name is borrowed from a village of the Mâconnais from where it would come! It is also one of the principal grapes at the base of Champagne, combined with Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir.

The Chardonnay grape is brilliant and gilded. It makes thick and fine wines, traditionally dry, among the greatest of white wines. We assemble it with our Geisenheim grapes to make our dry white wine, our sparkling wine just as for our ice wine. This type of vine is sensitive to fungus diseases. With the Riesling, it is the noble type of vine most resistant to cold with a tolerance until -18°C without winter protection (State de New York). We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in from our sheep's herd) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 


Sauvignon Blanc ( 500 plants )

Vitis Vinifera, apparently genetically derived from the Cabernet Sauvignon, it is the aromatic type of vine most famous of the area of Bordeaux. The bunch is small, compacts and resembles that of the Riesling, punctuated with black spots on the bays. Of aromatic and light savour, the must is sweet with a very good acidity.

Very sensitive to fungus diseases, the bunches mature very late; that would make it an excellent candidate for ice wine. It is what we try to do with this type of vine, which produces in the area of Bordeaux the famous Sauternes; the liqueur-like white wine unequal in the world. This type of vine does not resist the cold winters as well as Riesling and can undergo serious frost wounds starting from -15°C. We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 


Pinot Blanc ( 500 plants )

Vitis Vinifera of Alsatian name, at the origin Pinot Blanc is a mutation of the Pinot Gris (Pinot Gray), a type of vine, which is cultivated only in Alsace today.

The bunches are small, cylindrical, compact and with the woody stalks, very hard; the bays are small, spherical, clear green to yellow. Type of vine with early spring start, it is very resistant to the cold, and survives until - 18°C, which in fact makes it a very good candidate for our rigorous climate.

Alone, it gives a not very aromatic wine, and it must be assembled with other type of vines. We have much hope for this type of vine... We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 


Riesling ( 2,000 plants )

Vitis Vinifera, the Riesling is the great noble type of vine of Alsace and Germany. Used alone in wines, it is the vine of high-class wines of Alsace. It also produces wines coming from late grape harvest or for eiswein (ice wine) in Germany.

It is the type of vine at the origin of the ice wine, which was found accidentally by a vine grower who had pressed in winter the grapes which had not been gathered by the harvesters in autumn... forgotten by the grape-pickers! The Riesling can give very different wines according to the soils and it can age magnificently.

Most tolerant to cold of all Noble type of vines, the Riesling vine can tolerate temperatures going to -20°C (State de New York). In spite of certain sensitivity to fungus diseases, we put much hope in this type of vine... It seems to be well adapted to our climate. If there is a variety of Vitis Vivifera, which can survive and give good output in the South of Quebec, it is for sure the Riesling! We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 

Pinot Noir ( 500 plants )

Vitis Vinifera, one of greatest type of red vines of France if not the greatest, the Pinot variety could be at the origin of all the noble species of Europe, according to Jacques Lavallé, Histoire et statistique de la vigne et des grands vins de la Côte d'Or, published in 1855. One would find descriptions of this type of vine by the Romans two centuries before J-C.


Grape with black skin, but with amber juice, slightly transparent, this type of vine is used to make out the best red wines of Burgundy, just as the greatest of Champagnes. The bunches of this variety are small, cylindrical, compact of a bluish or purple black dark colour.

Type of vine of most general-purpose, one can convert it in to white wine, Blanc de Noir, in to Rosé or in to Red wine. We combine the Pinot Noir grapes with our Baco Noir and Ste-Croix grapes to make our red wine. We also made out a pale coloured ice wine, a special Blanc de Noir 'iced'.


This type of vine with early spring shoots start is very well resistant to winter cold, up to - 18°C, but is sensitive to mildew, odium and the grey rot. Late Aoûtement (formation of cork and lignification of the branches), one must thus make a rather severe cut of the foliage in summer (coupe au vert). We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 


Cabernet Franc ( 500 plants )

Vitis Vinifera, type of vine of Bordeaux origin and of the Loire, the Cabernet Franc is less coloured and less tannic than the Cabernet Sauvignon. It is characterized by its aromatic smoothness, its spiced sweet pepper flavours, its structure and its good aptitude for ageing.

Noble red type of vine most resistant to the cold, the Cabernet Franc can survive our cold winter until - 19°C. It is left without protection in the State of New York where it gives very good results.

This vine is sensitive to fungus diseases, like many other Vitis Vinifera, but since it is very resistant to our cold winters, it remains an excellent candidate for our climate in the southwest region of Quebec.

Late aoûtement (formation of cork and lignification of the branches), one must thus make a rather severe cut of the foliage in summer (coupe au vert). We protect this vine with a combination of straw and or manure (with straw mixed in) and a light ridging of soil of 25 cm.

 

Semi-rustic vines

( From - 25°C the fruit-bearing buds die )

 

 

Baco Noir ( Folle Blanche X Riparia ) ( 3,000 plants )

Baco Noir is only the vinifera-riparia to be massively marketed. It results from the crossing made with Folle Blanche type of vine and the riparia Grand Glabre created in 1902 by François Baco, famous French hybrid maker, who gave it his name. The strength of this type of vine is incredible and it must be cut very severely to decrease its productivity. It is not very sensitive to fungus diseases and tends to ripen tardily, which is not a problem in the region of Rigaud.

Baco Noir gives a dark and dyer juice with good sugar rates, 22 Brix ( % of sugar) is often reached at the beginning of October, very ' foxy' when transformed in to wine alone, and with also an acidity often too high for a red wine. One must allow malo-lactic fermentation to occur, which decreases the acidity of the wine slightly. It is not uncommon to ' blend ' it with another type of vine. We assemble it with types of grapes like Ste-Croix and Pinot Noir. Baco Noir (equivalent of Seyval Blanc for its hardiness) resists very well during our winters, region of Rigaud, without any protection. However, we install a windscreen fence at the edge of the vineyard to slow down and choke the dominant winds from the West and the North.

 


Geisenheim ( Riesling X Chancellor ) ( 2,000 plants )

This type of vine, the GM318, is a hybrid derived from Vitis Vinifera Riesling and Riparia Chancellor created in 1957. Moderately tolerant to our winters without protection (the equivalent of the type of vines Black Baco and Seyval), Geisenheim is extremely sensitive to fungus diseases like Mildew, grey rot, Botrytis.

It gives an interesting grape when collected at the end of September (Region of Rigaud). The skin of the grape takes an orange colour when very ripe; the must reaching rates of sugar bordering the 21 to 22 Brix with light acidity. We combine this type of vine with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to give it more body.

This type of vine (equivalent to Seyval Blanc for its cold hardiness) resists very, Region of Rigaud, without any winter protection. However, we install a windscreen fence around the vineyard to slow down and choke the dominant winds of the West and the North.

 

 

RUSTIC VINES

( From - 35°C the fruit-bearing buds die )

 

 

Ste-Croix: (ES 114 x Seyval blanc) x (Minnessota 78 x Seneca) ( 1,000 plants )

This type of vine has hasty maturity, very fertile and vigorous, and is fungus resistant. It is necessary to avoid overloading it, because the 'aoûtement' will be likely to be difficult. This type of vine is very winter resistant without any protection.

With the shoots falling down, one must thus cut it high on cord at the head (1,5m) and let the foliage go down again. Its productivity is very abundant on our clay soil. It gives a coloured wine with low acidity.

One can use it for table grapes or for winemaking. We blend it with Baco Noir, which tend to have a too high rate of acidity, and with Pinot Noir for the smoothness and the freshness of its bouquet.


 

 

Home     •  Our Vineyard •  Genealogy •   Opening hours     •  Our Wines •  Wines Tasting •   Find us
Version française •  Culture of the vine in Quebec   •   Type of vines   •   The Cycle of the vine •  Photos •  Contact-us  •  Bergerie sur le Lac