Article by Kristine Mansuy
You must have heard about the famous winery in Quebec where Adele filmed her video clip “Easy on Me”?
On the flank of the hills of Mount Sutton in the township of Glenn Sutton (just a few kilometers from the U.S. border) resides the 173-acre property of Château Ste. Agnès. Historically known as Chapelle Ste. Agnès, the winery is one of Quebec’s most beautiful sites with its unique architectural design and breathtaking landscape. A true gem of Quebec’s Eastern Townships!
Founded by Henrietta Antony in 1997, the vineyard was named after a stone chapel built several years earlier on the same site and dedicated to Saint Agnès, a thirteenth-century Bohemian saint.
The impressive estate spans 2 acres of vines and is home to two private residences, a Castle with two private suites, a Romanesque chapel, a wine Boutique, and an underground medieval cellar with a tasting room.
It was recently bought by a group of three dynamic friends: Alex Surdu, Steffany Grew and Julien Lavallée who share the same passion for wine and gastronomy. The site inspires them to create outstanding events and offer world-class culinary experiences as well as providing high-end hospitality in a welcoming environment.
They currently offer 4 wines including one Dry White Wine made from Vidal (one of Quebec’s most prominent hybrid grapes), a Rosé Blend made from Vidal, Petite Pearl and Marquette, one Port-inspired Fortified Wine, and an Ice Wine (that won many wine awards including silver and bronze medals at the International Wine and Spirit (IWSC) Competition in London).
All of the wines are easy to drink and food-friendly made exclusively with local hybrid varieties that can adapt to Quebec’s vigorous climate. Winemaking is done with the lowest intervention possible and with only the use of natural products.
Production is very small, about 5,000 bottles per year. Their goal is to keep an artisanal production and sell exclusively at the property and to specialized stores.
This past October, I had the chance to experience their Farm to Vine culinary experience and to meet the co-owners Alex and Steffany.
I hadn’t been to the Estate in a few years and I was impressed by the new modern look of the winery and the re-branding of the wines. Everything is well thought out and decorated with style while still maintaining its old world cachet and mystical charms.
As soon as I arrived on the property, I felt at peace and immersed in the beauty of the surroundings. The views from the vineyards (planted on stone terraces) and the mountains are ravishing and if you have the chance to visit them during the fall the colors are spectacular!
The Event started early during the day so we had the opportunity to visit the whole property, walk around the vineyards and enjoy a glass of wine with canapés prepared by our private chef.
During the entire cocktail hour, guided tours were offered in both French and English.
Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t allow us to sit outside for dinner but we enjoyed the full indoor experience which was perfect for Thanksgiving weekend!
A well-set table in the majestic dining room was waiting for us where the evening started with some live harp music followed by a 4 course meal made from fresh and local ingredients.
My highlight of the dinner was their famous Ice Wine paired with a butternut squash marshmallow and maple cake dessert.
I would definitely recommend the experience and if you reserve early, you might even have the chance to sleep on-site and try one of their private suites. Something I look forward to doing!
With a capacity of 120 people, Château Ste. Agnès is the perfect wedding venue. Its unique setting, along with the vineyards, the private chapel and on-site lodging will make it a dream come true! It is also suitable for corporate events with private rooms and catering services.
The culinary experiences are a big addition to the Eastern Townships Wine Route and it is also possible to picnic on-site.
For its incomparable charm, history, and outstanding hospitality, Château Ste. Agnès is a must-visit!
The trio of entrepreneurs has a lot of projects on the horizon for the winery. First, they want to diversify the wine portfolio by adding a red and an orange Wine (that should be available in a couple of months). They are also thinking of having a restaurant on-site and are flirting with the idea of expanding the accommodation offer.
Stay tuned for their new wine releases and upcoming culinary events!
The winery is closed to the public for the season and will re-open in May of 2023.
Note that until then it remains open for private and corporate events and the boutique is open by reservation only.
Many thanks to Alex and Steffany for the warm welcome and see you next year for some new wine adventures!