After 25 years of commercial viticulture, the Québec Winegrowers Association (QWA) decided in the spring of 2008 to adopt a quality-control program—a move designed to protect the growing young industry and ensure its successful future.
In the early 1980s, and for 30 more years, wine makers across the province proved beyond a doubt that grapevines could take root in our Québec soil. Wine making is here to stay, and is now part of our agricultural tradition and rural landscape. After all these years, wine makers today possess precious knowledge—gleaned in large part from the expertise acquired and developed over the years.
Some 30 years ago, the QWA cleared the way for wine making in Québec, and today we reap the fruits of their determination, conviction and passion. Québec wines distinguish themselves in provincial, national and international competitions—putting Québec on the global winemaking map.
In the spring of 2008, a group of winemakers came together to create and produce the perfect tool to recognize the extensive expertise of our young industry. A year later, the Québec Certified Wines label was born. This certification program is available to all wineries across Québec, whether or not they are members of the QWA.
What exactly is this Certification?
The Québec Certified Wines label is the result of a process undertaken by the QWA to recognize the quality of our wines. It was created to meet the expectations of both consumers and people who work in the industry. The end result is a logo that doesn’t simply mimic those used in other winemaking regions, but rather reflects our unique reality. Specifications were created in collaboration with experts in order to ensure the process ran smoothly every step of the way.
Decide the strict quality criteria for certified products, based on our extensive expertise
Guarantee the wine’s origins (traceability)
Recognize the uniqueness of our viticulture
The program’s key characteristics
Sustainable viticulture is the application of sustainable-development standards to viticulture. It’s about ensuring that the production of grapes respects an ecological, economic and social balance—which ensures sustainability during production (durability).
Certification includes an integrated advocacy section (agronomic follow-up), the use of eco-responsible inputs and ongoing training for winemakers. Respecting winemaking norms helps produce quality grapes and adds value to our agricultural land.
Winemaking and aging
Ensuring the grape source and quality of inputs, as well as preserving its intrinsic characteristics.
Late-vintage, winter and ice wines must also meet strict requirements when it comes to harvesting and the exclusively natural origins of their sugar sources.
Ensure the cleanliness, safety, traceability, and quality of all inputs and preserve the wine’s intrinsic characteristics.
Perform chemical analyses to ensure the final product meets Canadian food standards.
Perform a sensory evaluation in order to ensure the wine respects the defined standards of quality.
To guarantee the certification program’s neutrality, the control of standards compliance is undertaken by an external certification organization (accredited in compliance with the ISO 65 guide). The QWA has an agreement with Concert, a subsidiary of Écocert (organic culture) to ensure this control.
Rigorous control measures enable us to monitor every step of the viniculture process, from winemaking to bottling our Québec Certified Wines. Ongoing traceability ensures we can identify and meticulously monitor our wines.
In order to ensure the control plan and specifications function efficiently, the certification of Québec wines is accredited by the Québec government’s Conseil des Appellations Réservées et des Termes Valorisants (CARTV).
By introducing certification for Québec wines, the QWA has become a leader in respecting the environment as well as the authenticity and quality of our wines. Learn more