Free delivery

from 100$

Cart $0.00
Subtotal: $0.00
No products in the cart.

La Villa

vinaigres & jardins

A company dedicated to the manufacture of artisanal vinegars. Born from a desire for autonomy,
a life close to nature, in order to create a product that is beautiful, noble and true.

The project

The foundations of this project were laid in the summer of 2012 in an apartment located in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood located in the heart of Quebec city. At the time, very few artisan vinegars were claimed to be made in Quebec or even in North America. Although we enjoyed imported products from France, Italy or elsewhere, we were longing to taste vinegars created from locally sourced ingredients that would be more representative of our terroir, our climate and history (like maple syrup, honeys from a wide variety of flowers, nordic berries, and so on).

Moreover, we longed for a life in the countryside, and this project was the perfect excuse to buy a property in Saint-Pierre-de-Broughton, a lovely village located an hour south of Quebec city in the Chaudière-Appalaches region. That’s where we would begin our production and start cultivating some raw material.

This dream of a farm life helped determine the name of the enterprise: in the Roman era, a villa was a property in the countryside that included a residence (“villa urbana”) and farm buildings (“villae rusticae” in the plural form), where aspiring to a certain autonomy by producing foods, wine, olive oil, etc. was possible. Thus was born La Villa vinaigres & jardins.

The vision behind our locally handcrafted products is to offer an assortment of vinegars which are different, distinct, remarkable and appealing, while having the potential to become an unmissable reference in terms of artisan vinegars in Quebec’s market. In the future, we aim to make La Villa’s products available on the finest menus in North America, Europe and Asia.

The Site

Saint-Pierre-de-Broughton is a village of 900 souls overlooking the valley of the Palmer river, offering some of the most beautiful landscapes in the RCM des Appalaches.

The land of 56 acres where we established is landlocked, surrounded by hedges, fields and forest. Native flora inspired a few cuvées such as Renart (chokecherry), Monarque (highbush cranberry and milkweed) as well as Minashkuat (maple and conifers).

We craft our vinegars in a former sheepfold, divided into two distinct parts: a private space and the atelier (or workshop), where the vinegar production takes place. The latter is mostly composed of a kitchen (where we do some preparation, cleaning and lab work), a room dedicated to acetic transformation (where the wines become vinegar), and a cellar where the aging process takes place.

The Artisan

Jean-François Pelchat is the artisan behind this adventure. His desire to work for himself, to create something new and authentic and that could harmonize with his need for living in a close relationship with nature gave birth to this project.

Jean-François is mostly self-taught in everything, nearly. All his expertise regarding vinegar crafting was developed in the course of multiple research, readings and experiments. Even knowing that people who use and buy his vinegars appreciate them, he keeps perfecting his art, improving his methods and bringing his products up to his ideal.

Jean-François worked for more than twenty years in restaurants, notably as a sommelier. For over fourteen years, he has also been a representative for Rézin, a renowned promotional agency for wine and liquor in the province of Québec. His analytical abilities and critical thinking enabled him to advance to director of sales for six years until partially withdrawing in order to dedicate himself to his project of crafting vinegar.

In the early 2000s he completed a degree in photography, so capturing the landscape and activities of La Villa is one of his pleasures.

It was during a journey in the world of wine and gastronomy that my life went sour.

It started with learning how to make crepes from my parents as a child. With these modest débuts, cuisine became my favourite hobby and a way of expressing my creativity.

My passion for wine developed early as well, way before reaching the age of majority. I would often accompany my mother to the public library to leaf through books on history, military, aviation and race cars or comics. Eventually, I took in hand a book on wine and realized it covered a whole spectrum of topics: history, geography, geology, chemistry, agriculture – an entire universe I could explore infinitely.

My sister Nathalie ultimately gifted me a first vinegar maker for Christmas in the mid-2000s. I used it randomly for a few years until my reserve greatly exceeded my consumption.

Although my true career was photography, I chose to pursue my journey in restaurants while increasing my knowledge of wines by myself rather than working in that first field. I eventually became head sommelier in a most elegant fine dining restaurant (Initale in Québec city, a member of Relais & Château, that unfortunately ceased to exist), then moved on as a wine sales representative.

On a Sunday afternoon, while lying in bed and looking at the ceiling in search of a way of settling in the countryside, I had an epiphany: I would make artisan, terroir-driven vinegars.


This crazy idea has been my main focus since 2012. It has allowed me to explore many facets that make the journey most stimulating: agriculture, beekeeping, creation, vinification, acetic fermentation, physicochemical analysis, sales, marketing, etcetera.

Since 2019, my partner, Karine Légaré, has supported me (and endured me) in several aspects of this adventure (gardening, harvesting, bottling, etcetera) but mostly in managing it, where she keeps me going in the right direction.

Jean-François Pelchat