A small wine producer near Quebec City is hoping to expand production of his one-of-a-kind wine recipe — made with tomatoes.
After four years of production, the president of Domaine de la Vallée Bras, Pascal Miche, says he sells thousands of bottles in 22 different counties, and now cannot keep up with demand.
Miche's tomato wine was first created 1938 by his great-grandfather in Belgium. After moving to Quebec 15 years ago, Miche says he adapted his recipe using a blend of heirloom tomatoes from the Baie-St-Paul region.
After 10 years of research, Miche created a clear, organic wine with 16 per cent alcohol, and what he describes as a surprising taste.
"Does a wine made from grapes taste like grapes? Most people would tell me no. For the tomato, it's the same," said Miche.
Miche's wife says getting this far hasn't been easy, as the company had to convince Quebec's liquor board that the wine was following the regulations for what are considered approved ingredients.
“You have to know that you can’t produce wine from vegetables, so it has to be a fruit. So it took us 10 years to make them understand that [tomato] was a fruit," said Lucie Hotte.
Now that the beverage has gained popularity, Miche says he plans to apply for an industrial licence to expand production.