Ontario is home to 600,000+ Francophones — Canada’s largest Francophone community outside of Quebec. On September 25, we're raising a glass to the Francophone community, its culture and rich, 400-year history in Ontario. Want to show your love? Look for these well-crafted wines, beers and spirits from Ontario producers with a French heritage.
Vice-President and Winemaker Amélie Boury was introduced to the Canadian wine industry in 2011 while working at the University of British Columbia, where she quickly fell in love with our country. In 2013, she was named Winemaker and Director of Oenology of Château des Charmes. The winery produces 100 per cent estate-grown wines, and is committed to quality and sustainable winemaking.
Trained in France, Chablis native Jean-Pierre Colas joined 13th Street as winemaker in 2009. Besides his winemaking training and work experience in France, Colas has been working in Chili, Argentina and New Zealand. It is his inner curiosity and his thirst for discovery that brought him here in Niagara.
J-L (Jean-Laurent) Groux is a pioneer of Niagara winemaking. A native of France’s Loire Valley, J-L learned his craft in Burgundy and Bordeaux, but isn’t bound by traditional winemaking. By blending several grape varieties, he crafts wines with powerful aromatics, a round mouthfeel and significant length, with the capability to age his products seven to 10 years.
Thomas Bachelder, originally from Montreal, has made world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in Burgundy, Oregon and Niagara. Now focused solely on Niagara, Thomas makes wine from local terroirs with the intent to make pure, subtle, suavely textured wines that clearly express the vineyard in which the grapes were grown.
Founded by Franco-Ontarian Marcel Rheault and licensed in 2009, Rheault Distillery has been amongst the very first micro-distilleries to open their doors in Ontario. The award-winning distillery is based in Hearst, Northern Ontario, and is especially known for its excellent Loon Vodka.
Founded in 2012, Cassel microbrewery is in Casselman (Eastern Ontario), right in front of the village train station, which was originally the first train stop between Montréal and Ottawa. Not surprisingly, the train has become a real branding inspiration for this proud Franco-Ontarian business. In fact, one of its beers is even called "Franco"!
This family-owned brewery was founded in 2015 in the small town of Embrun (Eastern Ontario) by Nicolas Malboeuf. The name refers to the head, or broue, of a beer. Like wearing a tuque on your head helps conserve your body heat, the broue of a beer holds its flavour and effervescence, which is essential to experiencing beer the way it was intended.
Award-winning cider makers Nathalie Laurin and Pierre Bissonnette, who started Sarah Cole Cider in Argenteuil, Québec, adopted a second home in Vankleek Hill in 2018 to serve the Ontario market. Their goal from the outset was to address the issue of cider being too sweet, so they developed a cider with the perfect balance of dryness and tastiness.