I discovered Domaine Des Salamandres this fall at The Magog-Orford harvest party. The complexity and authenticity of the products convinced me of visiting the farm and meeting the people behind these beautiful nectars.
A Strory of Passion and Innovation
On a beautiful plot tucked in the hills of Cover Hill in Hemmingford, Denise Lavoie and Sylvain Haut cultivate pears of the Flemish, Bosc, and Bartlett varieties, along with the grape varieties Geisenheim, Frontenac (black and grey), Seyval and Vidal.
What started out as a passion project transformed itself into a family business, then into one of the best-regarded perries producing domains in Québec, all the while remaining small-scale. Their daughters Karelle and Camylle have recently joined the domain. Sylvain, previously from La Face Cachée de la Pomme (Domaine Neige), managed to develop a strong expertise in agriculture as well as wine and sweet cider elaboration. Driven by passion, it’s this flair and talent that launched him into the creation of pear-derived products. His partner Denise is behind him on this adventure. Their vision and tireless work allowed them to bring these high quality products into the market.
Since 2014, Christian Barthomeuf (Clos Saragnat) has been their consulting œnologist and their products have been naturally made (with no added yeast) since 2012. Since the formation of this collaboration, Sylvain and Denise are proudly and enormously encouraged by the evolution of the wines, drawing closer every day to the domain they envision and have always wanted to share. Both the vineyard and the orchard are cultivated with the utmost respect for nature.
The results of the team’s know-how speak for themselves. Every product is unique and boasts a refinement that will have people talking. On top of producing perries, ice wines, mistelles and late-harvested wines, they compose elegant dry white wines. There’s plenty of love to go around, but my heart belongs to the Vidal sec 2016 (scents of honey, pear and fresh parsley; striking minerality, reminiscent of Austrian wines) and to the pear wine Poiré Plat 2015 (honey wine style), quite simply without precedent among its type!
Stay tuned… Denise and Sylvain won’t stop now. Bold ideas are still coming their way: the Riesling variety will soon join the stellar lineup of this property. The Domaine Des Salamandres never ceases to amaze with their innovation and desire to do things right.
A splendid encounter with people of inspiring simplicity and great generosity; wine-making artisans dedicated to their conviction and passion who reaches out to us with their exceptional products.