Le Domaine de la Belle et le Gentleman begins planting future

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The ribbon was cut and the first vines planted at Le Domaine de la Belle et le Gentleman vineyard on Thursday, June 29.

Deborah Powell

BRISTOL – The Pontiac can now boast another vineyard with the official ribbon-cutting for Le Domaine de la Belle et le Gentleman, held June 29 on the Sixth Line on a field that will be home to 3,300 vines when planting is finished.

Other local grape producers attended to celebrate the start of a new vineyard as well as Bristol Mayor Brent Orr, Pontiac MP Sophie Chatel and MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller.

“[This] inauguration was made possible by the determination of its owners, but also a loan from the Federal SADC network and a grant from MRC Pontiac. The role of a good government is to make possible the development of visionary enterprises to promote our region and bring prosperity. I’m already dreaming of a must-do ‘Pontiac wine route!’ said Chatel.

Three white grape varieties (Louise Swenson, Acadie Blanc and Osceola Muscat) and two red (Radisson and Maréchal Foch) will be planted this year. More vines will be added over the next few years with the goal of producing wine in 5 years’ time.

Le Domaine began market garden production in 2022 with a presence at various markets, sales to independent stores, weekly Community Supported Agriculture baskets and some branching out into sauces and other products based on their garden production.

A vineyard has always been part of the business plan. “We dreamed about it 20 years ago, but life took us in other directions,” said Cynthia Case, who co-owns the business alongside her husband Frédéric Gagnon. Waiting wasn’t such a bad thing she went on to explain, because better-adapted grape varieties have been developed since then.