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A bird’s-eye view of the grapevines at Les Petits Cailloux

Interviews

A bird’s-eye view of the grapevines at Les Petits Cailloux

Located at the foot of Mont Yamaska, right on the border of Montérégie and Estrie, Les Petits Cailloux winery has panoramic landscapes that’ll take your breath away. This charming little spot in Saint-Paul-d’Abbotsford is where Martin Lavertu and Françoise Goudreau grow their grapes and showcase their various products.

Published on December 22, 2022

A mesmerizing view

I met Martin Lavertu at his vineyard and was mesmerized by the view of paragliders and hang-gliders dancing around Mont Yamaska, just across from the grounds at Les Petits Cailloux (“Small Stones”).

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A family vineyard

When I asked Martin why he and his wife chose this particular spot, he told me that it was their love of paragliding that brought them to the area, as Mont Yamaska is a popular destination for free flight aficionados. “We always wanted to give our children a happy life and a beautiful place to grow up. One of the things we’re most proud of at the vineyard is that it’s allowed them to have a variety of rich experiences.” He added that Mont Yamaska’s western hillside is perfect for growing grapes, but they first got the idea of opening a vineyard here during a trip to California’s Napa Valley. Their first harvest was in 2005 and they now grow two white and three red varietals to produce their eight wines, which have earned upwards of 25 national and international awards. 

Paragliding and winemaking

Is there any crossover between the skills needed to practice a sport as intense as paragliding and the ones required to run a vineyard? Martin had a clear answer. “The one thing they share is that both require patience. In free flight, you can’t rush things. Sometimes, you need to stay put so you can go further. The same goes for winemaking. You can’t hurry through the steps or cut corners.” I then asked him which aspect of his own personality you’d find in his wines. “Probably discretion. Each of our wines is well balanced—the flavours don’t overpower one another.”

Big stones

I was curious about their logo, which is reminiscent of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, and inquired about the origin of the vineyard’s name. With a little smile, Martin said, “Well, we have stones here—but they’re not exactly small.” I learned that the stones that were extracted from the ground before planting the vines were massive, just like the ones adorning the entrance to the property. 

If you’re a fan of good wine, gorgeous décor and pastoral settings, you have to visit this vineyard. It’s proof that small stones can sometimes deliver huge results! 

Martin Lavertu

lespetitscailloux.com

625, rang De la Montagne,
Saint-Paul-d'Abbotsford (Québec)
J0E 1A0, Canada

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