A new PGI
On the eve of its 10th anniversary, the certification is ready for its proverbial close-up, and ready to take on the new, important mantle of Protected Geographical Indication. “The long-term goal was this — this is where we wanted to end up. At last, we’ve arrived,” affirms Yvan Quirion.
The arrival of “PGI Quebec Wine” means that the sun will soon set on the certification. Concretely, what’s the distinction between these two wine indicators? “The standards are more or less identical, with the notable difference being that the technical specifications are now governed by a legal framework — that means it’s got teeth, so to speak. Those who try to subvert the regulations can be fined,” explains Jean Joly, owner of Havelock’s Vignoble du Marathonien, and President of the Conseil des Vins d’Appellation du Québec (CVAQ), which represents all winemakers who have permits to make PGI appellation wines, or certified Quebec wines.
While the new Quebec-based appellation may be strict, it’s nonetheless not quite as restrictive as the most famous wine standard, Europe’s legendary AOC — Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (controlled appellation of origin). “The PGI is a geographical designation, and not based on a typicality, and that fact actually encourages winemakers to create new wines using blends,” indicates Charles-Henri de Coussergues. “Though I’ve been a winemaker for over 35 years, that motivates me to try new things.”