So you’ve driven by, seen the Chateau, the vineyard. You were intrigued. But maybe a bit intimidated to just walk in? Well it need not be a mystery anymore.

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Here are the top 10 things you didn’t know about Chateau Taillefer-Lafon:

1. You can totally just walk-in and visit (and you don’t even need to know all that much about wine)

Trip advisor currently has it at the #14 for top things to do in Laval. Ya, I mean, go. Taste their wines. Chat with Philippe the staff sommelier. Tour the Chateau and the vinyards. Buy a couple bottles while you’re there.

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Just be sure to check out their website for official opening hours.

2. There are actually two Taillefers

Jean-François Taillefer, notary and his sister Manon Taillefer started it all with the help of oenologist M. Fabrice Lafon, who has since passed away (an oenologist is a person who studies wine and winemaking, ya, I had to look it up).

The ancestors of Taillefer Family have been farming in the city of Laval since the early nineteenth century. Although the construction of highway 13 seem to have put a damper on the families farming business, in 1976, Jean-François Taillefer, acquired, with his family, a farm on part of their ancestral lands. 

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3. It’s already been open for 10 years

So the vines were planted in 1999 but the Chateau wasn’t built and in business until 2006. The owners had the land since 1976 but they grew all sorts of other fruits, vegetables and grains before going into the wine business.

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4. They host about 200 events a year

From weddings to private celebrations to corporate events. They exclusively use caterer Julien-Leblanc Traiteur and of course, their house products.

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Click here to find out all about event hosting and room capacities.

5. They’re now doing public shows! For like, $35 bucks!

Taillefer-Lafon has recently launched a series of very intimate shows in their main room. Want to give an original gift to someone? Check out future events here.

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6. They own an apple orchard in St-Joseph-du-Lac

So ya, like they grow their own apples too in a private orchard. But their cider recipe is a well-kept secret.

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7. You can buy their apple cider at Costco

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Every other product they produce you can buy directly on location. From red, white and rosé wines, to bubbly wines (Champagne standard bubblies!), to cider and ice wines.  More new products being launched as this article is being written! Apparently, the hot summer of 2016 should produce an exceptional year.

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8. They are the first, and only, wine Chateau in Laval 

Château Taillefer Lafon is the first vineyard in Quebec authorized to use the appellation “Château”, traditionally reserved for distinctive european vineyards.

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9. Their products are actually really good, like award winning good.

In its first year of existence, Château Taillefer Lafon participated in the prestigious Montreal international wine contest “Les Sélections Mondiales des Vins, 2004”. The two products presented, the Ice Wine and the Ice Cider were given a gold medal and a silver medal respectively. Furthermore, the Château received, for its Ice Wine, the prestigious international “Vinofed” trophee rewarding the best of the 2,300 products representing 30 countries at the contest.

And now? Well-known Chef Ricardo strongly recommends the Cuvée premium white (Vidal, Chardonnay, Riesling) that he tried at Les 400 coups restaurant. Apparently he had a test during a blind test and couldn’t believe the origin (Laval) and price (15!). 

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Read up about their distinctions here.

10. Sainte-Dorothée has a weird micro-climate great for planting vines

Ok so this last point is not about Taillefer-Lafon specifically, but it does explain how all this came about. Apparently, the silt left by the ancient Champlain sea leads to exceptional fertility for wine production; and the perfect land is located on Montée Champagne. Who knew!?

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Cheers!

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By Chantal Vaillancourt

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