Domaine Cartier-Potelle: Vines and beautiful landscapes!


Domaine Cartier-Potelle: Vines and beautiful landscapes!

Just 30 minutes from Montreal, in the Montérégie region, a shape stands out from the horizon—Mont Rougemont. On entering the town of the same name, having driven along winding roads lined with vines and apple trees, you see a sign at the side of the road: Welcome to Domaine Cartier-Potelle.

Published on December 22, 2022

The Cartier-Potelle experience starts the minute you turn off the main road and make your way down the sideroad leading to the winery. As you pass the apple trees, you can’t help but admire the view of Mont Rougemont, an impressive sight no matter the season. Today is one of the last days to take in the fall colours and for the magnificent sun to turn the maples an even deeper shade of red. 

I met up with Jean-Pierre Potelle (who founded the winery with his wife, Josée Cartier, and her brother David) in the winery to start the day off on the right foot by uncorking a bottle of sparkling cider. We walked through the orchard, where the ground was covered in ripe apples. No doubt about it, Rougemont’s title of Quebec’s apple capital is well deserved. Jean-Pierre explained that the orchard had been there for several generations and that when they bought the property just over 10 years earlier, their first impulse was to make ice cider. Why? Because it’s a typical Quebec product and they’re proud of that. 

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An opportunity and a bit of madness

Jean-Pierre told me that what was supposed to be a retirement project materialized earlier than expected when the trio decided to acquire the property, on which a few vines were already growing. The most impressive part of the story is that at the time, none of them knew anything about winemaking. Jean-Pierre quit his job as a computer programmer to devote his time to the project. The three partners took part in a series of training sessions and discussions with the former owner to gain the required knowledge. They produced their first batch of cider in 2012 and their first batch of wine in 2015. Today, the winery enjoys a solid reputation.

Domaine Cartier-Potelle

A magical place

I often ask winemakers about the intention behind their project. What did you want to create? What do you want people to feel when they visit? What is the Cartier-Potelle experience, exactly? Jean-Pierre began by saying, “Now that’s a good question.” I was flattered! “For one, we like the fact that when people come here, they also visit a few other sites to taste the wines and ciders of nearby producers,” he continued. “What we’d like is for the people who come to the estate to find the surroundings beautiful and the products delicious. That’s why we built this space, with these high ceilings, the room upstairs and the terrace with a view of the orchard and vineyard.” It’s true—when you take in the view of the valley, you feel a sense of calm and inner peace. Add in wine and cider tasting and a cheese platter, and you have the makings of a heavenly day. I must admit that I had a weakness for Le Fortifié cider, a perfect blend of ice cider and apple brandy, with notes of maple syrup and roasted coffee.

Timeless and blissful—this is how I’d describe the few hours I spent at Domaine Cartier-Potelle. Who knew that seventh heaven was right here in Montérégie!

277, Rang de la Montagne
Rougemont, QC, J0L 1M0
(450) 469-2000

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