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Bacchus I

Posted on 15 Oct, 2014 in Culture | 12 comments

Here in Québec, autumn is in full swing. Fall colors are at their peak, snow geese are staging on the tidal flats, and the grapes are ripe on Orleans Island. In fact, at Bacchus Vineyard, they have just brought in the last of the harvest for the 2014 vintage.

The Vignoble Isle de Bacchus is to the left as you drive onto Orleans Island, just outside the village of St. Pierre. Its terraced fields slope gently toward the northwest, providing a summer’s worth of late-day sun to ripen the grapes. With those grapes, Bacchus Vineyard makes a variety of reds and whites, as well as some sinfully tasty wine cocktails.


Bacchus Harvest reduced


The day of my visit, volunteers were harvesting Marquette grapes, a hybrid grape that is descended from the Pinot Noir. Developed at the University of Minnesota, the Marquette is prized for its ability to survive cold winters, which are in no short supply– either in Minnesota or here in the St. Lawrence River Valley. The vintners at Bacchus Vineyard use the Marquette in several of their red wines, including my favorite, the Réserve Alexandre. The vineyard touts this wine as a bold rouge that tastes of black current and plum with hints of roasted coffee and chocolate. This is connoisseur talk for “really good”! I would put it up against similar wines from the best known wine-growing regions of the world. I can’t wait to taste the 2014 version!


Picking Grapes Reduced



  1. Thank you for sharing pictures of what we missed by coming too early to Canada…absolutely beautiful.

    • That just means that you have to come back next year!

  2. You like red Wine too……quite stunning !!! No ? Ha! Ha !

  3. The wine grower of Isle de Bacchus also made for the second year, the Rosé des Filles du Roy using an older method for this particular rosé.
    He discovered that a young Fille du Roy, who was only 16, settled on his actual land in the XVIIe century.
    As he was very proud of this discovery, to help La Société historique des Filles du Roy, he made that wine for us.

    Thérèse Morin alias Marie-Catherine Cottin dite d’Arras who arrived in Québec in 1664.

  4. Looks fantastic – sorry I am not there to try this wine!

  5. Thanks Neil. I am enjoying your informative blog — and wishing I’d bought some of this wine while in Quebec. i spoke to a friend in Laval yesterday and they are enjoying a bit of a heat wave as we are in Boston. I’m wondering how I can post this to my Facebook page. would you have any objection? (Do you have a FB page?)

    • Hello Millicent!

      Please do post it to your Facebook Page!Here is the link to the Québec and moi FB page. First you can “like” the page in general, then you can “share” the article in particular.

      Thank you so much!

  6. oh, pinot noir, the description you bring him gives him a wonderful bouquet of subtle flavors. If the 2014 vintage shows promise to be patient rest seems appropriate. Beautiful black cohosh, good description and lively wine, your health, thank you

  7. Stunning to see that Jacques Marquette’s name was given to a prized grape produced in the USA and grown on Ile d’Orléans. Considering he died on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1675, it seems that he finally made it bak home… in a different shape!!! Ha! ha!

  8. Hello Neil,

    Thank you for this very pertinent information about the “Grande région de Québec”. In spite of the fact that Old Québec is a wonderful site, recognized by Unesco, your article clearly shows that Québec area has still more to offer to the visitors and gourmets…

    Bye, Denis L

  9. Thanks for the update on the vineyard on Orleans Island. MY next trip I would like to visit the winery and the sugar Shack!

  10. BEAUTIFUL…!!!! Thank you so much for the pics…we need to come back…especially for the vineyard!!

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