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Four experts and consumers’ favourite eco-friendly products

Interviews

Four experts and consumers’ favourite eco-friendly products

Are you trying to be more mindful about what ends up in your cart, but not always sure what to choose? Here’s a look at some earth-friendly options from the Inspire Favourites lists of four people in the know.

Published on May 4, 2024

At a time when many producers are switching to greener, more sustainable methods, making more environmentally sound choices is a great way for consumers to follow the industry’s lead by reducing their carbon footprint. Because making the right choices can be challenging, here’s a peek at the Favourites lists of winemakers Simon Naud and Véronique Lemieux, mixologist Claudia Doyon, green consumer Anne-Laurie Asselin, and Comont Distillery founders Samuel S. Gaudette and Vanessa Cliche

Essentially, a product is considered eco-friendly when it’s Quebec-made, natural, organic, made using sustainable practices like regenerative viticulture, or packaged in a container that’s more respectful of the environment. The article entitled “Even red wine can be ‘green’” discusses these characteristics in greater detail.

Simon and Véronique's top picks

A pioneer of the regenerative viticulture movement in Quebec, Simon Naud, owner of La Bauge winery, is known for his creativity, know-how and innovative practices. Véronique Lemieux, apprentice winemaker and owner of Vignes en ville, has in-depth expertise in sustainable agriculture and circular economics, and has studied permaculture. 

The Foradori Teroldego Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2022 is a natural and organic red wine made exclusively from indigenous grape varieties using biodynamic production methods that are respectful of the terroir. Its alpine freshness lends balance to its strong body, with aromas of thyme, lavender and fruit on the nose. 

“On my recent trip to Italy, I discovered the Azienda Agricola Foradori winery (...) It promotes  soil rehabilitation by integrating livestock into the estate’s ecosystem.”

— Simon Naud

This sparkling wine, characterized by its fine bubbles and fruitiness on the palate, is made by Domaine Bergeville, where they cultivate emblematic hybrid Quebec varietals like Frontenac Blanc.

“Their ecological approach is inspiring. In fact, they’re one of the first Quebec winemakers to obtain the Demeter certification (in biodynamics).”

— Véronique Lemieux

To craft North America’s first carbon-neutral vodka, Comont Distillery recovers vegetables and pie crust, cookie dough and muffin batter waste. This Made in Québec spirit, distilled and bottled in the Eastern Townships, is as sustainable as it is tasty—perfect for folks looking for spirits with a minimal environmental footprint.

“When it comes to cocktails, our choice is an ultra-local zero-waste vodka that’s produced less than 30 km from our winery. And we simply adore the distillers themselves!”

— Véronique Lemieux

Claudia's top picks

Claudia Doyon, who manages Nacarat cocktail bar at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal, is an expert on Quebec aromatics. She even leveraged her skills to help develop Origine Québec products and cocktail menus. Her style of mixology showcases the flavours of the terroir, and she strives to lend as much support as she can to local producers.

The Terre à boire distillery uses organic grains and wild aromatics grown on its property to make its Ecocert Canada-certified organic forest gin, which is distilled according to artisanal methods. The result is a delicious spirit with refreshing notes of fir, cedar and juniper berry that Claudia has fallen in love with. 

This natural sparkling cider is proudly made in Quebec—a collaboration between Cidrerie Milton and Château de Cartes winery and cider house. It embodies the cider makers’ commitment to respect nature and a strong sense of self. Striking a beautiful balance between Rubinette and Golden Russet apples and Vidal, Frontenac Gris and Sainte-Croix grape pomace, it’s fruity and floral on the palate, with silky tannins.

A bronze-medal winner at the Finger Lake International Wine Competition in 2019, Tradition mead is smooth, delicate and both a bit tart and a little sweet. Made in Quebec by Miellerie King, it shines when paired with smoked salmon, seafood or sushi.

“A dry white mead that’s great on its own or in a cocktail. It has subtle floral and honey notes, and a light, pleasant mouthfeel.”

— Claudia Doyon

Samuel and Vanessa's top picks

Samuel and Vanessa started Comont with the dream of creating a distillery rooted in tradition. They source their ingredients locally and prioritize collaboration and family values to produce small-batch spirits with heart.

This unique and refreshing liqueur is a favourite of the founders of Comont, owing to its aromatics, which are gathered from forests in the Côte-Nord region. Both the aromatics and the macerated fruit are upcycled to make derivative products like soaps, shampoos, candles, and spices. 

Entre Pierre et Terre is a microcidery and distillery that uses ancestral apples and pears from the local terroir to craft its products, including this delectable pear liqueur. 

“[We love it] for the respect [the producer] has for the land, the way its fruit is grown, its tree-to-bottle process, and its upcycling of pears.”

Anne-Laurie's top picks

Anne-Laurie Asselin is an eco-conscious consumer who’s committed to choosing products that are respectful of the environment. She actively looks for options that are affordable and sustainable, to help protect the planet and promote a greener lifestyle.

Certified by Aliments du Québec and an SAQ Origine Québec product, this ready-to-drink sparkling cider from Verger Hemmingford is vegan, gluten-free, free of artificial colours, and made with all-natural flavours. Plus, it’s packaged in a recyclable aluminium can! It has a bittersweet taste, with citrus notes and refreshing bubbles.

“Perfect for a thirst-quenching summer cocktail!”

— Anne-Laurie Asselin

To discover more products from Quebec, visit the Espace Québec section.

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