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La Romance du Vin on TV

Csurlatele

 

I drink to you especially, men with sullen brow Who look down on my life and push back my hand!


Je bois à vous surtout, hommes aux fronts moroses qui dédaignez ma vie et repoussez ma main !


Émile Nelligan
(La romance du vin -1899)

 

Our Vineyard

In May 1999, Rosy and Alain Bellemare transplant 6,000 vines which they trailed along for years from one site to another before being established definitively in the Bas de la Riviere in Rigaud; White Seyval, Foch, De Chaugnac...


After one extremely rigorous winter, the majority of the seedlings died or are under artificial respirator. The stocks not being ridged and being so to speak without protection vis-à-vis the winter bite, combined with the many transplantations of the previous years, plus the bad preparation of the ground, made the vines weakened and vulnerable.


That's no problem, the following year we plant 3,000 Baco Noir , followed-up by 2,000 Geisenheim in 2001.

In 2002, we buy 1,000 Ste-Croix, 1,000 Delisle and 1,000 Prairie Star, those types of vines known as resistant to our cold winters.


First grape harvest in 2003, but the birds puff out half of the grapes. We have some all the same to make a few tens of litres of each type of vines; the Baco Noir must is very acid for a red, the Geisenheim is not too bad... the Prairie Star, which was supposed to resist the winter frost are almost all died; they apparently did not resist the dry summer, with the little root system which they had at the time of their ground setting... It looked just like at the cemetery!

Vino di Peppe painted by Hélène Léveillée

The year 2004 is difficult for us because the CPTAQ does not give us the authorization to live on our agricultural land; ' live at the village ', tells us the commissary!

In spring of the same year we plant 1,000 Chardonnay, 500 Pinot Noirs and 500 Sauvignon Blanc; vitis vinifera vines which will require a ridging like winter protection and the care as ' for the infants' warns us the salesperson of Mori Vines in Ontario; to make good wine, you need good grapes! And the type of vines which resist well without protection for the winter do not give very good results here when we try to make wine with those grapes. We thus tears off a another thousand of vines ' resistant to the winter cold ' to replace them by noble vines from Europe.

The grape harvest gives poor yield, the birds which still puff out in spite of the scarecrows, the recordings of birds in distress and the blows of rifles or horn... It is very discouraging; that gives sometimes the perfect excuse to giving up... It's not easy to live the life of a farmer/producing farmer/ ovine raiser/ vine grower/ wine specialist...


2005 We ask for the assistance of the deputy of our county. We explain our situation to her and ask her whether she can come to our assistance. Yes! Yes! Mr. Bellemare, she said. ' Contact me at my office in 3 month after the end of parliamentary session and I will see what I can do to help you '... was her answer. My wife Rosy is very happy of the news and says to me, ' You see, I was right to send you to see her, these deputies must be of some use to the people!'...

We make another demand in 2005 at the CPTAQ. I contact the deputy; its press attaché tells me on a worried tone that an appointed member of parliament cannot intervene in our favour, that it would be political interference, that the commissaries are independent like judges, and all the rest...

I ask for the assistance of my delegate of the UPA in my area. After all, he must be doing something for farmers just like me. I ask for a letter of support from him. He says to me that he will try to help me. Two weeks later, he refers me to the head office of the Union which answers me, after having examined ' my dossier', that they recommend no farmer if he does not declare at least $10,000 of agricultural income. Since we are just a start up farm, that it is necessary to give time before the vines start to produce enough, we will have only five or six thousand dollars of agricultural incomes (from the sale of lambs), at the end of the year. They let me know politely that they will not support our request... I wonder suddenly why I subscribe to more than $300 annually with the Agricultural Union of Producers... But no worries, ' If you do not know why... Them, they sure know... '

 

During this time in Vaudreuil, we see thousand of houses being raised on grounds formerly agricultural! These farmers surely use a manure containing droppings of she-goat!

Fortunately in spring, an analyst comes to note the progression of our wine project, combined with our small ovine herd, and makes a favourable recommendation to the commissary... A request, which will be finally accepted in the summer...

' You see now what a deputy is used for!' ... said my wife while laughing.

As we have many weeds to tear off, I fell like inviting her to come and see us in the fields...

 

Spring 2006, we will be finishing our wine storehouses and will be planting 2,000 Riesling, 500 Cabernet Franc and 500 Pinot Blanc... We have made our request for an artisan winemaker licence and will be ready to sell our wine at the end of the summer... It's not easy to live the life of a farmer/producing farmer/ ovine raiser/ vine grower/ wine specialist...

Where to find our wines:

La Maison des Vins au Marché des Saveurs,

Jean-Talon Market, in Montreal.

 

Summer time:

Thursday: Hudson Farmers Market.

Friday: Marché Champêtre de Rigaud.

Saturday: Finnegan's Market, à Hudson.

Sunday: Marché Duluth, Plateau-Mont-Royal.

 

 

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