Named after our old family house in Granite County, Quebec, St. Leon is our endeavour to carry on the maple sugaring traditions of our ancestors and our rebellion against the commoditization of the maple syrup industry. Unlike most commercially available maple syrup, ours is never blended and is harvested and boiled entirely from a single patch of pristine Appalachian forest. St. Leon is our salute to our family and our countrymen, the stewards of the mountains and the chamberlains of the woods.
We are Amélie Guay and James Graham-Simpkins. We are partners in life, love and the pursuit of pure maple everything. When we first met, we dreamt of inhabiting the European countryside and making wine. However, on a snowy night in the mountains, after a little bit of reflection and a lot of wine, we decided to stay true to our cultural roots and turn our oenophilic sensibilities towards the production and purveyance of one of Quebec’s most prized provisions: maple syrup.
Inspired by the Burgundian winemaking tradition of climate selection, we sought out the ideal site for maple syrup production. In 2013 we found Eden in St-Augustin-de-Woburn, a tiny border town in an outlying pocket of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It was here that we came together with Amélie’s distant cousins, veteran maple syrup makers Renée and Louis. Their support, guidance and generous supply of cold beer allowed us to bring St. Leon to life.
Nestled among the peaks of Estrie’s Appalachians, our maple source climbs to over 800 meters (2625 feet), making it one of the world’s highest in elevation. The mountainside sugar bush is populated mostly by mature sugar maples – by far the best variety for making maple syrup – many of which are over 100 years old. The steep slopes provide the trees with ideal exposure and the cold mountain nights drive the optimal diurnal temperature swing for spring sap flow. The forest’s remote location ensures that the maples breathe only the cleanest country air and are nourished by the purest mountain water.
Just as with winemaking, the finest maple syrup is created when ideal natural conditions are entrusted to seasoned craftspeople. Here we found both.
Unlike any other worldly sweetener, pure maple syrup is completely natural, has no additives or preservatives, is rich in minerals and has an antioxidant value that rivals raw broccoli and bananas. What’s more is that it can make other healthy foods taste great. Maple syrup completes the Greek yogourt and berry trifecta and can transform kale juice from a chore to a treat. However, the best part remains that you can say that you ate something good for you after devouring a tall stack of pancakes with bacon and ham.
Responsible production methods are crucial to preserving the wellbeing of a maple stand as well as the final quality of maple products. In order to maintain a balanced natural ecosystem and to offer the purest maple syrup possible, we ensure that all of our transformation systems and forestry techniques adhere stringently to Ecocert® standards. Biodiversity is promoted in the forest, no fertilizers, germicides or pesticides are used and no animal products, soy, peanut, sesame or nut oils are employed. Pure maple syrup is one of the healthiest unadulterated sources of sugar and one of the most natural foods on earth. We intend on keeping it that way.
Cuvée de chez Cousin Louis is homage to our beloved cousin Louis, an audaciously spirited woodsman with an uncompromising humour. A true embodiment of his character, Louis’ cuvée is robust, wildly aromatic and boldly colored. It is best suited to the richer things in life such as smoked ham, fried chicken and in or on any confection from the pastry kitchen. 100% Pure Quebec maple syrup. Available in 200 ml, 375 ml and 750 ml formats.
Cuvée Renée is named after our beautiful “cousine." Renée’s subtle nature is reflected in the clarity of her Cuvée’s luminous hue and delicate aromas. Cuvée Renée's ethereal tones make it a perfect fit with finer dishes such as fresh salmon, fruits of all varieties, sunday crepes and as an accompaniment to selected cheeses. As well, it works wonderfully as an alternative beverage sweetener, from your morning latte to your five o'clock old fashioned. 100% Pure Quebec maple syrup. Available in 200 ml, 375 ml and 750 ml formats.
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Amélie Guay & James Graham-Simpkins
Whether you would like to get your hands on some of our maple syrup or simply want to share your feedback, we would love to hear from you.