If you also dream of sipping Origine Quebec wine in front of a breathtaking backdrop, then turn right as soon as you reach the island to get to Vignoble Ste-Pétronille. Once there, you’ll meet a friendly family that works tirelessly to give visitors an unforgettable experience at their vineyard.
“We chose this place for its beautiful terroir and the unique climate it would provide for our grapes, but also because here, we’re free to grow the varietals we want, make the kinds of wine we like and sell our products right on site.”
—Gabrielle Denault, Director at Vignoble Ste-Pétronille
Their secret: Heart and passion
Even though I stopped by during peak tourist season, I still had the pleasure of meeting with Gabrielle, the vineyard’s director and part of the next generation of this venture. As we spoke, I quickly realized that the key ingredient to a successful business such as theirs is passion.
“The secret is that we put our heart and soul into it and work as a family—my two parents and us three children,” explained Gabrielle.
Formerly a general contractor in civil engineering and an accountant at a multinational, the owners left their high-paced careers behind to dive into a brand new project and become winemakers. What started out as a crazy dream quickly became a great success. People have fallen head over heels for Vignoble Ste-Pétronille. The vineyard welcomes thousands of visitors every year, which allows them to sell 90% of their bottles on site.
Innovators and trailblazers
Gabrielle explained that the vineyard uses an old technique called electroculture that manipulates the magnetic field around the plants to maximize their growth and yield. Such a method had never been used in Quebec before. As I took a stroll among the grapevines, as many visitors enjoy doing, I quickly noticed an abundance of perfectly ripe grapes!
This is also the first vineyard to distill grape pomace to make spirits. The result of this father-son project is a grappa-style eau de vie with hints of currant, pear, white flowers and fresh herbs—and it makes for a delicious digestif.
Exceptional products in an enchanting setting
Tasting their wines made from vinifera grapes was a real treat. Growing this varietal in addition to their local crops has allowed the family to reinvent themselves again and again. Gabrielle also mentioned that they mainly produce dry white wines. In fact, they’re the first to sell a wine made entirely from Quebec grapes—they’ve named it Vandal-Cliche.
To top it all off, their process ensures everything is 100% organic. Yet another reason to make your way to the vineyard and enjoy their wonderful terrace with its majestic view of the St. Lawrence—all while savouring a cold glass of white wine, of course.
If, like me, you love sharing exquisite experiences and discovering products with new flavours unique to Quebec, add Vignoble Ste-Pétronille to your list next time you head to Île d’Orléans. Bring a group and share the joy—my parents, partner and I really enjoyed the laidback and welcoming atmosphere. Great views, great pizza and wine made with love—what more could you ask for?
In partnership with Vaolo