All tastes are in the grape variety here!

The Quebec wine market is much more than white, red, rosé or sparkling wine. There are dozens of grape varieties available to your taste buds! Wines with unique characteristics that give your glass a nuanced character. Getting to know their personality, their organoleptic properties and their origins is one step closer to discovering your favorites. And choosing is much easier when you know each other well!

Tour de table of some of the most cultivated grape varieties in Quebec …

THE GRAPES

FRONTENAC NOIR

BLACK

70 % of the vineyards
10 % of surfaces

Very resistant, we love Frontenac Noir!

The most cultivated black grape in Quebec. Versatile, the Black Frontenac is recognized for its resistance to cold and disease, its ease of cultivation and the level of sugar that is very present in the fruits! Winegrowers also appreciate it for its high yields, vigor and adaptability to many soils.

It is the basis of colorful, fine and aromatic wines. It offers seductive aromas of black cherry, blackberry, cassis and plum. Delicious in rosé, fruity red or in fortified wine. It is mostly found in a blend and we like to drink it young … but gets better with age!

Origin :

Originally from the University of Minnesota hybridization program, it is made from a cross between Vitis riparia 89 and the French hybrid Landot 4511 (Landot noir).

FRONTENAC BLANC

WHITE

63% of vineyards
9% of surfaces

The youngest of the big family!

Frontenac blanc is the youngest member of the Frontenac grape family (after Frontenac noir and Frontenac gris). In Quebec, it is the second most cultivated grape (tied with Frontenac noir).

Frontenac blanc can offer consumers a wide spectrum of types of fresh wines with aromas of tropical fruits, pear and peach. It also offers good potential for sparkling wines and dessert wines in particular, mistelle, fortified wines and… straw wines.

Like the other Frontenacs, it is very cold tolerant and well resistant to diseases, the winegrowers also appreciate it for its versatility and because this variety knows how to adapt to all types of soil.

Origin: Frontenac blanc is a mutation of Frontenac, first observed in Quebec and Minnesota in the early 2000s. The parent grape, Frontenac, was introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1996.

FRONTENAC GRIS

WHITE

55 % of vineyards
6 % of surfaces

Frontenac Gris : a grape variety of great versatility

Very versatile: Frontenac gris produces light white wines with peach aromas, it is also used to produce superb rosés! In this case, we get rosés of a rather salmon color. And, the Gray Frontenac can even make (in assembly) light red wines! In addition, you can also find in sparkling wine, dessert wine… or even in ice wine! Where we will find aromas of apricot, nuts and prunes.

Origin:Developed at the University of Minnesota in the United States, from a mutation in Frontenac noir observed in the early 1990s.

MARQUETTE

RED

57 % of vineyards
8 % of surfaces

Marquette, a grape variety to discover!

Marquette is a red grape variety that was introduced in Quebec in 2008. Well resistant to disease, Marquette produces light, fruity and low tannic wines. It is the fourth most cultivated grape in Quebec. in the province. 

Very popular with consumers – and its popularity is growing! – there are more and more fine and complex versions marked by accents of black fruits, spices and flowers. 

In terms of its culture, the winegrowers notice that Marquette needs less degree-days (compared to other grape varieties grown in Quebec) to reach maturity. It also has good resistance to several diseases that affect grapes and vines.

Origin: Created at the University of Minnesota and marketed since 2006, it is the result of a cross between two other hybrids, Mn 1094 and Ravat 2621,2.

 

 

PETITE PEARL

RED

52 % of vineyards
3 % of surfaces

Petite Pearl: a new one from Québec!

Petite Pearl is a recent variety of grape appreciated for its low acidity and its beautiful dark color which allows complex wines with high quality tannins. 

This grape variety produces wines with good aging potential, with aromas of small red fruits, cherries, violets and fine herbs.

In Quebec, 52% of vineyards have at least one plantation of Petite Pearl and it is found on nearly 3% of the areas of Quebec vineyards. 

Origin: Petite Pearl originated from Tom Plocher’s hybridization program in Minnesota (United States); it comes from a cross of MN 1094 and E.S. 4-7-26. 

VIDAL

WHITE

45 % of vineyards
10 % of surfaces

Vidal: a very popular grape variety in the beautiful province!

Vidal is one of the most cultivated grape varieties in Quebec: almost half of the winegrowers have at least one Vidal plot. This white grape, a French hybrid, is not only widespread in the beautiful province, but also in Ontario, the United States and even, in China!

Vidal produces good dry, aromatic and light-bodied wines. Excellent as an aperitif, it goes perfectly with fish, seafood and more! It also makes it possible to produce excellent late harvests and ice wines with aromas of pear and citrus.

Origin: Vidal was developed by Jean-Louis Vidal in France in the 1930s. It is obtained by crossing Rayonor and Tuscan Trebbiano – commonly known as Ugni Blanc in France..

SEYVAL BLANC

WHITE

32 % of vineyards
7 % of surfaces

Discover the lightness of Seyval blanc

Seyval blanc is one of the “top 5” grape varieties most cultivated in our beautiful province: a third of the vineyards in Quebec have at least one vineyard plot of this grape! Appreciated by winegrowers for its high yields and its fairly upright habit – which makes it easy to grow! 

Seyval blanc produces excellent light white wines, but also ice wines. With good acidity and mineral notes which give it a nice freshness. On the nose you will appreciate the aromas of white fruits, particularly apples, citrus fruits and sage.

Note that Seyval blanc was widely planted in champagne during the phylloxera crisis in order to produce high quality sparkling wines.

Origin: Made from a cross of Seibel 5656 and Rayon d’Or (Seibel 4986), Seyval Blanc originates from France.

ST. PÉPIN

WHITE

32 % of vineyards
5 % of surfaces

St. Pépin, a very promising grape variety

Arrived in Quebec in 1987, did you know that today, nearly a third of the vineyards in Quebec have at least one parcel of St. Pépin vines?

We love St. Pépin for its finesse and mineral character, but also for its structure and volume in the mouth! Very aromatic, it produces excellent wines with aromas of honey and white flowers! 

St. Pépin is available in dry white wine, but also in late harvest or sparkling wine! Its natural structure makes it a perfect compatriot of blends, St. Pépin is also offered as a single varietal. 

A very interesting feature of St. Pépin is also that it needs a neighboring grape variety which flowers at the same time to help its pollination. Viticulture experts will tell you that it is a female grape rather than a hermaphrodite.

Origin: Obtained in 1971 in Osceola, Wisconsin, USA by Elmer Swenson, St. Pépin is the result of a cross between E.S. 114 and Seyval Blanc.

CHARDONNAY

WHITE

30 % of vineyards
4 % of surfaces

Almost all countries, wine producers, have their Chardonnay!

This grape is certainly the most famous in the world! Present almost everywhere, it has the particularity of expressing itself differently depending on the terroir where it is planted and, it knows how to adapt to many soils and climates.

Chardonnay in Quebec! In the province, it is one of the first Vitis vinifera to be cultivated. This grape represents 4% of the vineyard area in the beautiful province … that’s twice as much as 5 years ago! This is not surprising because Chardonnay is best in countries with slightly cooler climates.

Quebec Chardonnay produces excellent dry wines with citrus aromas – and a slight “buttery” side (the well-known characteristic of Chardonnay) – and superb sparkling wine.

Origin:  Originally from Bourgogne in France.

MARÉCHAL FOCH

BLACK

30 % of vineyards
4 % of surfaces

Very sweet berries!

Maréchal Foch is a hybrid named after French Marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929) – who played an important role in the negotiation of the armistice.

This variety offers red wines with supple tannins and on the nose, we perceive beautiful notes of black cherries. Often blended, Marchéchal Foch is perfect for aging in barrels or wood chips.

Beware of winegrowers … it gives particularly small berries well coveted by birds! 🙂

Origin: Resulting from a cross between MGt101-14 and Goldriesling obtained by Eugène Kühlmann around 1911. Note that Maréchal Foch has 2 siblings from the same cross: Lucie Kuhlmann and Léon Millott.

PINOT NOIR

RED

21 % of vineyards
4 % of surfaces

We love the delicacy of Pinot noir!

Known for producing light, fruity (cherry) and low tannic red wines, Pinot Noir is a Vitis vinifera type of vine – vines of so-called noble European origin.

This grape variety is a bit capricious (we must also make sure to cover the vines well during the winter to protect them from the cold), but it can produce excellent wines! The best are supple and silky with lovely fruity and spicy tones. A passage in oak barrels will give it beautiful woody and roasted accents. 

Very elegant, this variety widely used throughout the world and we can recognize it by its pale ruby ​​color. A shade synonymous with lightness which makes Pinot Noir the perfect companion for any meal! 

Certainly a variety to follow over the next few years in our beautiful province!

Origin:  Originally from Bourgogne in France – it could come from wild vines selected and cultivated at the time of the arrival of the Romans.

ST. CROIX

RED

36 % of vineyards
3 % of surfaces

A good red from Québec!!

An American variety, St. Croix produces fruity, delicate red wines with low acidity. 

With a beautiful color, this grape offers low tannins, but very pleasant! It is also appreciated for its fruity rosés and fortified wines.

Did you know it also makes great seeded table grapes?

Origin: American in Minnesota and descended from E.S. 283 and E.S. 193, the St. Croix was selected by Elmer Swenson in the early 1980s.

PINOT GRIS

WHITE

25 % of vineyards
2 % of surfaces

Pinot Gris in Québec!

Originally from Bourgogne, Pinot gris is a variation of Pinot noir which is distinguished above all by the color of its berries. As it matures, it turns a greyish pink color.

Rather low in acidity, it is appreciated for its good sugar concentration; giving supple wines of beautiful aromatic complexity with notes of honey and exotic fruits. It can also produce sparkling or rosé wines.

It is one of those authorized in the Alsace grands crus appellations; we also make late harvests and selections of noble grains..

Origin: Originally from Bourgogne, Pinot gris is a cousin of Pinot noir.

ACADIE BLANC

WHITE

16 % of vineyards
2 % of surfaces

Acadie blanc honors Acadian culture!

Native to the Niagara Valley in Ontario, Acadie blanc is a white grape variety widely planted in Nova Scotia with some plantations in Quebec and Ontario. It is named in honor of the rich Acadian culture.

Even though it must be protected from extreme cold, this variety is well appreciated by winegrowers. Acadie blanc is easy to grow because it is an upright variety (i.e. the branches of the vines do not fall to the ground and they are therefore more solid, less susceptible to breakage associated with wind), it is not very susceptible to diseases, offers good yields and matures rather hastily.

Acadie blanc offers good still and sparkling white wines; dry wines with flavors of peaches, honeydew melon and pineapple.

Origin: Acadie Blanc was created in 1953 in Niagara, Ontario, at the Vineland research station. The grape has been revealed to have members of eight different species of Vitis, including Vitis aestivalis, Vitis berlandieri, Vitis cinerea, Vitis labrusca, Vitis lincecumii, Vitis riparia, Vitis rupestris, and Vitis vinifera.

CAYUGA WHITE

WHITE

9 % of vineyards
2 % of surfaces

Do you know the Cayuga White?

Cayuga White is a grape variety found mainly in the northeastern regions of the United States as well as in the Canadian provinces including Quebec! Versatile, it can make dry white wines, sparkling wines or late harvests.

Consumers appreciate it for its fragrant, musky and fine wines (Alsatian type). Most Cayuga White wines have notes of peaches, apples and tropical fruits.

Origin: Marketed since 1972, Cayuga White was developed from crosses of hybrid grape varieties Seyval Blanc and Schuyler, in New York State in the United States.

RIESLING

WHITE

14 % of vineyards
1 % of surfaces

Riesling: more than aromatic!

Native to the Niagara Valley in Ontario, Acadie blanc is a white grape variety widely planted in Nova Scotia with some plantations in Quebec and Ontario. It is named in honor of the rich Acadian culture.

Even though it must be protected from extreme cold, this variety is well appreciated by winegrowers. Acadie blanc is easy to grow because it is an upright variety (i.e. the branches of the vines do not fall to the ground and they are therefore more solid, less susceptible to breakage associated with wind), it is not very susceptible to diseases, offers good yields and matures rather quickly.

L’Acadie blanc offers good still and sparkling white wines; dry wines with flavors of peaches, honeydew melon and pineapple.

Origin: L’Acadie Blanc was created in 1953 in Niagara, Ontario, at the Vineland research station. The grape has been revealed to have members of eight different species of Vitis, including Vitis aestivalis, Vitis berlandieri, Vitis cinerea, Vitis labrusca, Vitis lincecumii, Vitis riparia, Vitis rupestris, and Vitis vinifera.

SWENSON WHITE

HYBRID

20 % of vineyards
1 % of surfaces

Swenson White: Fruit … and more fruit!

Marketed since 1994, Swenson White offers very fragrant white wines, with a well-pronounced and complex flowery nose.

Winemakers appreciate the cold and disease resistance of Swensen White: the yellowish, thick-skinned fruits, which allow them to cling to the vines, unimpeded by insects, late in the fall season. Also making Swenson White a good candidate for ice wine.

Origin: Native to Osceola, Wisconsin, USA, Swensen White was bred from a cross Edelweiss X ES 442.

ADALMIINA

WHITE

13 % of vineyards
1 % of surfaces

Adalmiina: a grape variety with citrus aromas

Practically unknown in France, Adalmiina is mainly present in Canada, the United States and Poland. In Quebec, it was in 2000 that we began to cultivate it. Offering light, fine, mineral and fragrant wines; it can be compared to Muscadets. Some Quebec producers also choose this grape to produce excellent orange wines!

Origin: Originally from Finland, Adalmiina originated from a cross between 2-3-17 ES and ES 35 in the 1980s by Elmer Swenson – it was only a few years later that Meeri Saario gave him his current name.

GEWURZTRAMINER

WHITE

5 % of vineyards
0,3 % of surfaces

Gewurztraminer: a well-hidden treasure!

Gewurztraminer is a grape – still not very present in Quebec – we love it once we taste it! 

With its grapes in shades of gray-red, this grape produces white wines with golden reflections. Complex and deliciously delicate, Gewurztraminer is a pink-skinned grape that produces some of the most distinctive aromatic wines in the world!

If you find a Gewurztraminer bottle, take it quickly… these are very well hidden treasures!

Origin: The origins of the Gewurztraminer are difficult to trace, but it is likely native to what is now northeastern France and southwestern Germany.

CABERNET FRANC

RED

5 % of vineyards
0,13 % of surfaces

Taste Québec Cabernet Franc!

Did you know that Cabernet Franc is the ancestor of Cabernet Sauvignon? Indeed, the very famous Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc!

One of the oldest red grape varieties in Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc produces slightly tannic wines with delicate aromas of red berries and spices.

It can be drunk young, but it is also well known for its great wines to keep.

Early ripening, it thrives best in somewhat cooler regions. Quebec Cabernet Franc is a victim of its popularity. Keep an eye out for the next vintage!

Origin: The origins of Cabernet Franc are probably in the Basque region of France (next to the Spanish border in the southwest).

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