A full seven months after chefs like Martin Picard and Daniel Vézina fêted the landmark Bistro à Champlain in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, just over an hour north of Montreal, the late restaurant has completed the transfer of more than 5,000 bottles of fine French wine to the nearby Estérel Resort. The number represents but a fraction of a world class stockpile that the restaurant's bon vivant namesake, Champlain Charest, has slowly, and largely, sold off to the likes of the Société des alcools du Québec.
Loyal patrons of Bistro à Champlain can now enjoy some of the restaurant's essence at the luxury property. "The debate did not last last long," affirmed Estérel Resort CEO François Dallaire in a communiqué. "We all wanted to immortalize the name 'Bistro à Champlain'." In tandem with the wine cellar's acquisition and conservation, Estérel staff will liaise with wine producers with Champlain's assistance and guidance. Champlain's wife and business partner, Monique Nadeau, will also assume the title of wine director at the resort.
The impressive trove includes rare finds like a Pétrus 1953, a 6-litre Romanée Saint-Vivant du Domaine, a Romanée-Conti 1990, and other gems from the likes of Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Haut-Brion. Every Friday and Saturday, the wine cellar will host up to 20 guests for "Tablée Champlain," a multicourse dinner, with wines, led by a sommelier. The wine cellar is now open to the public for visits from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Resort guests can also arrange special tastings.