More on l’Espiègle here.
Vignoble de la Bauge
Simon Naud & Steve Beauséjour
La Bauge was founded by the Naud Family in 1976 as a boar farm an hour away from Montreal. After years of dairy farming, Alcide and Ghislaine Naud established the winery in the farm 1986 and operated it until Simon, their youngest son, took over in 1996. Steve Beauséjour joined Simon in the cellar in 2019.
The vines are planted on an eastward sloping hill on silty-sandy sediment soil. The farm is home to the winery as well as a very active “zoo”: alpacas, boars, deer, and yaks, to name a few residents. Sheep have been brought into the vineyards and ducks roam the property. La Bauge is also known for its unusual meats, such as venison or smoked yack sausage.
They began transitioning to organic farming in 2016. Since Steve Beauséjour joined, they also have been releasing Les Beaux Jus, a series of wines focusing on minimal intervention in the cellar, native yeasts, no fining or filtering, and no sulphur.
L’Imparfait is the collaborative project between Hinterland Wine Company in Prince Edward County and the Québécois restauranteur Dave McMillan of Joe Beef.
Pinard et Filles
Pioneering a bright-eyed wine crusade within the extreme terroir of Quebéc, Frédéric Simon and his wife Catherine Bélanger tend to their 1.50 hectare winery with resolute sincerity and an evolving sense of place.
Discovery drives the work that they do here, with relatively new plantings of vitis vinifera such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Dornfelder, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Savagnin (uncommon to the area due to arduous growing conditions). All vines are tended to organically, with minimal alterations in the cellar, leading Frédéric to a series of challenges to consider when combating the extreme cold of winter and inevitable frosts of spring.
While experimentation is well underway with the aforementioned varietals, production is quite limited and circulates mainly within the local market – championed by natural wine establishments such as Joe Beef and Catherine’s own Moleskine and Pullman Bar à Vin.
The first cuvées available to the United States include Frangine White & Frangin Red – macerated La Crescent for the white and an assemblage of Marquette and Frontenac Gris for the red – sourced from a rented vineyard in Lanoraie. Both adhere to the same strict standards of minimal intervention in the winery, with no additions of chemicals, yeasts, acid, or chaptalization.
Frédéric enlists renowned Canadian artist/novelist Marc Séguin to imagine custom labels for each of his wines. A painter himself, Frédéric has long collected Séguin’s pieces in his home – as far back to his days of co-owning restaurant Les Cons Servent and operating a wine importing business – before selling nearly everything he owned and working toward the vision and love affair that is Pinard et Filles.