Terrasse maintenant ouverte — bienvenue.
Terrace now open — Welcome.

Photo: JFK Cromwell

the willow wisp in spring
whispers how softly
we’d fall astray


Retrouvons Nous

Photo: A. Klimk

- La Belle Alliance

Carolyn Dagenais

Nous expérimentons. Nous avons planté quelque rangs avec deux plants par trou, pour tester si la compétition augmente la vigueur.


We are experimenting. We planted several rows with two plants per hole to see if the competition increases vigor.

Photo: David Chapman   Les bébés chardonnay sont heureux de voir le soleil.  ⚜️  Chardonnay babies happy to see the sun.

Photo: David Chapman

Les bébés chardonnay sont heureux de voir le soleil. ⚜️ Chardonnay babies happy to see the sun.

Agnes K
Vendange - Harvest
Photo: David Chapman

Photo: David Chapman

Nous avons commencé notre récolte.  Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre.

We have started our harvest.  Good things come to those who wait.

- La Belle Alliance

Carolyn Dagenais
Assez ⚜ Enough

Les grappes sont couverts avec les filets anti-oiseaux, en attendant de les vendanges.  Nous avons eu un printemps, et un été, frais et pluvieux.  Il aurait été bon d'avoir plus de soleil, mais les raisins mûrissent lentement.

The grapes are covered with bird netting, waiting for the harvest.  We had a cool, rainy, spring and summer.  It would have been good to have had more sun, but the grapes are slowly ripening.


Notre chambre de dégustation est ouvert chaque jour entre 10h et 18h.  Nous sommes heureux d'avior suffisamment de temps pour rencontrer et parler avec chaque personne qui entre.  Nous pratiquons parler français en servant nos visiteurs - il n'y a que 19 mois que nous sommes arrivés de l'Alberta et nous avons encore (et probablement toujours) besoin de beaucoup de pratique.

Our tasting room is open every day from 10am to 6pm.  We enjoy taking the time to meet and speak to every person that comes in.  We practice our French while serving our visitors - it has only been 19 months since we arrived from Alberta, and we still need (and probably always will need) plenty of practice.


Nous apprenons à raconter notre histoire : L'amour toujours.
C'est assez.

We are learning to tell our story: L'amour Toujours.
It is enough.

Carolyn Dagenais
Rouge - Red

Nous préparons notre rouge, L'amour, pour l'embouteillage.
Cela mérite une vie d'effort, si seulement nous pouvons bien le faire.

Nos mains sont rouge.
C'est le marc de notre amour.

- La Belle Alliance

Carolyn Dagenais
Atteignant - Reaching

We are planting.  11000 baby vines will be delivered this month.  The first group of 5000, our Chardonnay and St. Pepin, arrive this week.  The roots of this first group will come bare.  We will cut each one (does air on fresh cut burn? ) and we will plant.

Il est prêt

Il est prêt

With an engineer's care, precise rows have been marked on the waiting field.  With a gardener's endurance, 5000 planting holes (2" diameter) are being drilled into our (not quite so rocky anymore) ground.  We are aware of the importance of planting.

Our vines, once planted in careful rows - which they each summer will try to reach beyond - will endure five years of growth before giving their first fruit.  We are, of course, planting for the future.

We are also salvaging.  When we found our home, La Belle Alliance, we also found our life's work.  Much of this work involves taking what we have received and making it better - trying, at least, to make it better.  Our home came with fields of vines that had been left lying on the ground since their planting - 7 years before our arrival.  We have been told that the easiest course is to plow them under and start again.  But we are lifting them up.  After having struggled, after having survived this long, why not give them their chance to bear fruit?


So we have begun disentangling.  Some vines have reached far and wild, and must be carefully traced across weed-choked ground before being lifted and secured to wooden stakes.  Once the vines are risen, leaves finally receiving a full view of the sun, we will tend them: we will fight back the surrounding weeds; we will prune; we will install permanent posts; and we will begin the slow process of training our savage vines to a wire.  Maybe, given this care, our long-neglected plants will at last thrive.

It may not be easy for a vine to take root
But a vine that bears struggle is a vine that bears fruit.

- La Belle Alliance

Carolyn Dagenais

le lac,

ci [si!]
tu joues

I see [icy]
the lac


- La Belle Alliance

One warm line.

One warm line.

Carolyn Dagenais
Après les neiges - After the Snows

Le temps commun
Les neiges se lavent
En débrouillant
Le vent souffle bleu
Après la pause
Et chant toujours
On chant toujours
Les temps communs

Les temps communs
Ont commencé
de les neiges
à l’arrivée
des vents qui soufflent
si beau, si bleu
des vents qui chantent

The Common Time
Begins anew
The snows they wash
The tangles through,
The winds blow blue
Beyond our rest -
And sing toujours
We sing toujours
The common time

The Common Times
They have begun
The snows give way -
On winds which blew -
Arrived again
So well, so blue
The winds that sing

- La Belle Alliance

Carolyn Dagenais