Children of the vineyard

Proof that the wine-making tradition is well established with us, the first generation of children who grew up on a vineyard are now old enough to take over the family business. What does a youth spent among the vines look like? We asked three children of winegrowers…

Domaine Nival

Photo: Domaine Nival

The world of wine, magnetic for children

Catherine Lauzon remembers that her parents’ profession raised many questions among her classmates; especially since she was one of the few students to live on a farm.

“It was cool to have a vineyard; that intrigued my friends a lot. When they came to our house, they didn’t want to see my room. They wanted to go out into the field and find out what a vine plant looks like! », Recalls the 30-something, whose parents own the Vignoble Les Vents d’Ange , in Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, in the Basses -Laurentides.

As tall as three apples and both hands in the vines

13 years old when the first vines were planted in 1998, Catherine has always participated in the pruning of the plants and the harvest, in addition to helping her mother with the administrative aspect. She has fond memories of the early years of the company, which coincided with her adolescence and coming of age:

« [Growing up on a vineyard,] that makes you a kid who can roll up your sleeves and turn around on a dime.” Quickly, we discover the other side of the coin that consumers do not see: effort, vine diseases, weeding, the weather, sleepless nights during frosts, etc.».

Vents d'ange

Photo: Alexandra Lauzon, André Lauzon and Catherine Lauzon | Vignoble Les Vents d’Ange

It trains people who are close to nature and hardworking. We know we have to work to achieve something. And in agriculture, nature decides a lot for us. When the field requires work, you have to be there ”, underlines Sarah Du Temple-Quirion, who grew up on the Domaine St-Jacques, in Saint-Jacques-le-mineur, in Montérégie.

Her family moved to the estate in 2005 when she was finishing elementary school. Quickly, she got involved.

“On the big bottling days, I would pack the boxes and label the boxes. I also followed the family to wine salons. Since I was under 18, I could open the bottles, but not serve them!», Remembers the young woman of 27 years.

Domaine St-Jacques CVQ Sarah DuTemple-Quirion

Photo: Yvan Quirion and Sarah Du Temple-Quirion | Domaine St-Jacques

An enthusiastic succession

It’s never too early to put your shoulder to the wheel, as proven by Sophie Daoust, whose parents own vignoble Les Bacchantes, in Hemmingford, in the Montérégie region.

Accompagnée de sa sœur Émilie, 7 ans, la jeune fille de 11 ans (« bientôt 12 ») aide ses parents depuis plusieurs années. Elle aime tout du vignoble, sauf « les moustiques et le fait qu’il n’y ait pas Internet ».

«  help when it’s time for the harvest and bottling. I also love watching my dad work. I love that! », she laughs.

 

Photo: Sophie Daoust | Vignoble Les Bacchantes

A good work-family balance

While the children of winegrowers are called upon early to help out in the family business, they do not necessarily serve as free labor for their overworked parents.

« My parents have always encouraged my sports and social activities. They always gave us the choice to get involved or not », explains Sarah Du Temple-Quirion.

Photo: Sophie and Émilie Daoust | Vignoble Les Bacchantes

Sébastien Daoust, father of young Sophie and Émilie, adds: 

« At their age, it’s not making them work, but rather allowing them to learn from the people around them. I think it gets them out of their bubble ».

Likewise, it seems that winegrowers make good parents despite their sometimes busy schedules.

 

Quality time, from the fields to the truck

« We lived on the farm, so I saw my dad every day. Sometimes he would have supper rapido presto before returning to the field, but he was still present, just like my mother, underlines Catherine Lauzon. I don’t remember any absent parents. On the contrary, we were together all the time. I played in the field, helped my mom, made deliveries with my dad, etc. We were really close. »

She liked the job so much that she decided to join her parents in managing the vineyard.

« I was born on the land on which I work. For me, it was natural to stay here. I love the land and being close to my parents », explains the one who studied social work before returning full time to the vineyard.

Same story with Sarah Du Temple-Quirion, who is involved in the family estate with her partner:

« In the family, as in the vineyard, we each have our seat according to our strengths and weaknesses. I feel in my place; I don’t know why I would look elsewhere. »