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Photo : Matt Morris

HUMANITY AND AUTHENTICITY

 

A wine promotional agency established in Quebec in 1997, Le Maître de Chai represents more than 200 wineries, serving both the Quebec and Ontario markets since 2015.

 

Over the past two decades, we have put together an enviable portfolio of world-class wineries and winemakers who are considered the elite in their respective regions.

 

To our clients, be it individual wine lovers or restaurants, we are proud to offer truly exceptional wines. To the wineries we represent, we take equal pride in our ability to communicate their stories. Wether these wine are sold on private ordering, directly through the LCBO stores, or both, we will find the ideal route to bring these wines to market.

 

To excel in this business, one must have, before anything else, a passion for not only wine, but also the people who are behind every bottle. It’s these enduring personal relationships we cultivate with our winemakers, restaurateurs and individual clients that is the ultimate reward.– Francis Martin, owner of Le Maitre de Chai

 

Our story began at the end of the 1980’s, when Gilles Martin and Josée Levert, founders of Le Maitre de Chai, traveled all over France searching for wines to stock their personal cellar. Along the way, they discovered not only great wines, but met truly memorable winemakers. Wether or not they realized it at the time, they were laying the foundation of not only a wine agency, but a philosophy of how to run a wine agency. We operate on the same principle today- that wine is ultimately about people.

 

Among the pioneers of selling wines on private import in Quebec, Gilles and Josée carefully expanded their portfolio by knocking on the doors of the world’s most respected wineries, adding one new client at a time. This passion for wine and desire to represent only the best was passed on their son Francis, who has been running Le Maitre de Chai since 2010.
Le Maitre de Chai is one of the most respected wine agencies in Quebec, and now we have set up shop in Ontario. But as we have grown over the years, we have never wavered from our founding principle: to seek out authentic and exceptional wines at all price levels and to transmit the passion and stories of those who make them.

Producers

Roagna

Piedmont, Italy

Established in 1880 by Vincenzo and Rosa Roagna, today the estate is run by fifth generation Luca Roagna. They are considered by many one of the most iconic traditional estates in Piedmont. They own 12 hectares of organically farmed vineyards with their 6-hectare holdings in Barbaresco at the heart of the family estate. Their cru holdings in Barbaresco include parcels in Pajè, Asili, Montefico, Gallina, Albesani and Faset; and they also own parcels in Barolo Pira. Their vines, planted by massale selection, are on average 25 to 50 years old, with some vines that are nearly 100 years old. The wines that denoted “Vecchie Vite” come from the oldest parcels. The family's wines are long-lived, deeply structured, layered expressions of their vineyards with a purity of fruit and profound terroir signature.

Website

Chandon de Briailles

Burgundy - Côte de Beaune, France

Among the leading domaines of Savigny-les-Beaune, Chandon de Briailles also has vineyards situated in the finest terroirs of Pernand-Vergelesses and the hillside of Corton. They have been biodynamic since 2005. They vinify by partially destemming and use new barrels sparingly, resulting in wines of a staunchly classical style. Without being opulent, they have depth and body, and brilliantly reveal their true colours with proper aging. Given their distinctive personalities, these wines are greatly appreciated by fans of real Burgundy. Insider tip: Chandon de Briailles are the largest landholders of Savigny-les-Beaune premier cru Ile-de-Vergelesses, considered by many to be deserving of grand cru status.

Website

Michel Gros

Burgundy - Côte de Nuits, France

The fragmented nature of French inheritance laws is the reason that there exists today three domaines named Gros in Vosne-Romanée. Michel Gros was fortunate to inherit the famed monopole premier cru Clos des Réas, which yields wines of supreme finesse. Michel Gros may not be in all the top French guides, but the renowned critic Clives Coates, in his book The Wines of Burgundy, lists Michel Gros among the handful of rare three-star producers. Gros produces ample, well-textured wines, whose physiques are more sculptural than imposing.

Website

San Giusto a Rentennano

Tuscany, Italy

The origins of San Giusto a Rentennano date back to 1204 when it was originally home to a Medieval monastery run by Cistercian monks. The Martini di Cigala family inherited the estate in 1914, and today the nine children of Enrcio Martini di Cigala manage the estate. Located in the most southerly part of the Chianti Classico zone, the estate spans 160 hectares, with 31 hectares of vineyards as well as 11 hectares of olive groves. Their soils are a rich mix of clay and limestone and a moderate altitude affords them moderate, sunny climate. Their vineyards and olive groves are farmed certified organic. The estate's range consistently receives high praise from international wine critics and their 2016 Chianti Classico was ranked #3 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list of 2019.

Website

Pichler-Krutzler

Wachau, Austria

One half of the Pichler-Krutzler duo is Elisabeth Pichler, 5th generation of the legendary winemaker F.X. Pichler from the Wachau. Elisabeth’s husband, Erich Krutzler also has winemaking in his blood, with his familial roots in Southern Burgenland. Together they established their estate in 2007 in the village of Oberloiben on the hillsides of the Danube in the picturesque, UNESCO-recognized Wachau region. They farm 13 hectares of vineyards including some parcels in famous vineyard sites such as Klostersatz, Supperin, Loibenberg, Kellerberg or Pfaffenberg. Their powerful yet elegant expressions of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are mirrors of the vineyards from which they came, and in this short period of time they have garnered much acclaim from local and international press alike.

Website