Guillaume Leroux, Alexis Perron and Julien Vaillancourt

Owners of the Val Caudalies vineyard

To witness the birth of the Val Caudalies vineyard, you need to step back more than 20 years. Guillaume and Julien had been working for several years in restoration and on vineyards in Quebec. Their good friend Alexis, for his part, worked in the wine distribution industry. Barely 25 years old, the three men decided to combine their expertise, to our delight. Well equipped, ambitious, they set off in pursuit of their dreams …

 

From tidy lifes to winegrowers: the decisive moment

In 2004, the trio bought 45 hectares of land in Dunham, on the Wine Route. One year later, more than 20,000 vines were in the ground and the Val Caudalies estate officially saw the light of day. The latter includes a small orchard of 1,500 apple trees, the perfect playground for making ciders and passing time while waiting for the first harvest. These apple-based drinks would pave the way for a very diverse range of wines and vermouths.

Vidal one day, vidal always

The three men also share a strong passion for the vidal grape variety, which they unhesitatingly make their specialty. Their cuvée of white Vidal wine quickly became their flagship product. Guillaume explains:

« We fell in love with this variety, from the vine to the winemaking. We wanted to break into the restaurant industry with a fresh, aromatic white wine, very much from home, and we acquired our notoriety with this one. »

Making Quebec vermouth shine internationally

In collaboration with the Montreal cocktail bar, Le Lab, Val Caudalies produced the first Quebec vermouth, which in 2016 won the first Food Innovation prize. The success story of the bottle brings together a base a white wine bas and a very specific recipe from maceration of herbs, spices and roots, to name only these herbs.

In 2020, the vineyard won the gold medal for its Lab Val Caudalies sweet vermouth and the silver medal for the Lab Val Caudalies dry vermouth at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirit Competition; an accomplishment that is to be proud of.

« Each vermouth has its signature and it’s always interesting to compete against the big names in the industry. What we have created is completely different and unique. People have to taste it to find out. And once done, they come back for sure! “, Exclaims Guillaume.

A vineyard that has a storefront

In 2007, the Val Caudalies vineyard timidly opened a shop on Principale Street in Dunham. Today, their address is a must on the Wine Route and welcomes more than 40,000 visitors each year. It must be said that the estate attracts crowds not only for its wine products, but also for the beauty of the place.

The exceptional panorama offers a view from the top of the valley over the Appalachians, combining vineyards, orchards, meadows and forests in a breathtaking setting. It is no coincidence that the three partners have opened up several kilometers of hiking trails to the public on their property. Visitors in search of beauty also have picnic areas at their disposal and can celebrate their milestones there by renting one of the many terraces on site.

Val Caudalies

Award-winning vermouths conquer the SAQ

With international honors in hand, the next challenge for the vineyard is to double the presence of its vermouths in SAQ branches, currently offered in 125 points of sale. The trio give themselves two years. Guillaume specifies:

« In our boutique in the vineyard, visitors taste, love and buy, but the competition is necessarily fiercer on the shelves of SAQ branches. We have to look for our vermouths with Quebec spirits, or even with other vermouths in the world. It is a constant challenge to create visibility and increase the accessibility of our vermouths. »

One thing is certain, the promotion of local purchasing and the great pride in local products are being felt more and more. The Quebec wine industry offers high quality products and business is good, both at the vineyard boutique and in the network of grocery stores, specialized grocery stores and SAQ branches.

Portrait of a Val Caudalies vermouth in a few sips

The star of the day: Lab Val Caudalies sweet vermouth!

Made from premium wine, it is described as fresh and complex :

« The harmony of its wide aromatic palette lies in the subtle balance of the elements present combined with the liveliness of the wine. Its juicy fruity sweetness with notes of orange zest and lemon is supported by the floral side of chamomile, followed by sweet spices and a long, invigorating and fresh finish from the fine bitterness of the wormwood plant. »

It is served alone, over ice. It is also an ideal base for making your best cocktails. Health!

Did you know that…?

« Val Caudalies » means « marriage between terroir and tasting »? The word « Val » refers to the geography of the estate, which overlooks a valley. “Caudalies” is a tasting term which defines the quality and the persistence of the aromas in the mouth.

 Persistence and quality representing the adventure of the Val Caudalies vineyard !

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