Cheers to authenticity!
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Quebec Wine – French: Indication géographique protégée (IGP) Vin du Québec – ensures the traceability of products at every stage of production, from vine to bottle. A flavourful designation you won’t want to pass up!
In November 2018, Quebec’s agriculture department, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) officially recognized the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Quebec Wine. Although a relatively new concept in Quebec, PGIs are widely used in other parts of the world.
This designation aims to protect the authenticity and specificity of Quebec wine. Winegrowers hoping to sell PGI- certified wines must fully comply with strict specifications, stipulating that all raw materials (especially the grapes) must come from Quebec. It also specifies that at least 50% of the grapes must come from the vineyard where the PGI wine is produced, bottled and labelled.
A committee must then approve the quality of the product, by tasting it blindly, before granting certification. The Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV) is an independent and impartial organization that was established by the Government of Quebec. It is responsible for developing stringent control measures and monitoring each stage of the production process—grape growing, winemaking and bottling in order to ensure that each product meets all the requirements in the specifications manual.
PGI Quebec Wine geographical area
The PGI Quebec Wine geographical area is bounded by the Laurentians to the north, the US border to the south, Ontario to the west and the Appalachian Mountains to the east. To be eligible, the region where the grapevines are grown must have a minimum of 900 degree-days, a measurement used to calculate the amount of heat available during the vine’s growing season.
The PGI Quebec Wine designation is awarded to the wine, not the winegrower. White, rosé, red and sparkling wines, as well as late harvest and raisined grape wines, are all equal contenders.
Ensure compliance with wine-growing standards and best vineyard practices in order to contribute to the production of quality grapes and optimal use of the agricultural land.
The grapes used to produce wines that earn PGI Quebec Wine status must have the necessary attributes to deliver a quality product.
Vinification and aging
Ensure the origin of the grapes and the quality of the ingredients, as well as the preservation of their intrinsic characteristics.
Additionally, late harvest wine and ice wine must comply with precise requirements in terms of how the grapes are picked and the exclusively natural origin of the sugars.
Ensure compliance with high standards regarding the safety, security and traceability of wines during bottling.
Testing is performed by an independent laboratory to ensure that the finished product meets Canadian food standards.
Each wine is subjected to an organoleptic assessment to ensure that it is free from defects.