On January 10, the shocking news spread quickly via social media that Michèle Bosc had passed away following chemotherapy treatments after cancer surgery. She was a well-known figure in Ontario’s wine industry. The Bosc family own and operate Château des Charmes winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Michèle was VP of marketing and administration.
Michèle Bosc was responsible for staff training and development, trade relations, advertising and marketing, as well as the guest experience and hospitality programs at the winery. She was also the winery representative on various marketing and tourism committees in the region.
An engaging and passionate social marketer for the family’s winery, her last tweet was on New Year’s Eve. “Thank you for sharing all of the ways that you enjoyed our wines over the holiday season — it is truly the best gift that we could receive. Cheers to 2019!”
As word quickly spread, heartfelt messages of condolence, including these, were posted on the Château des Charmes Facebook page.
“Our i4C family would like to share our profound sympathy with the Boscs, Michèle’s family and everyone at Château des Charmes. We are stunned and we grieve. And we also honour Michèle’s incredible commitment to our wine industry, and her indelible role as a communicator and ambassador.” Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration
“Michèle was a valued colleague here in Niagara-on-the-Lake and her influence was also felt right across the Canadian wine landscape. She will be missed …” Reif Estate Winery
“Michèle Bosc was a beautiful example of what it means to give her everything to customer service, she was an ambassador to exemplary experiences at Château des Charmes, was so supportive to women in business and such a mentor to so many — especially those that worked closest with her at the winery.” Cathy Davis
“To all of us women in wine, we have lost a strong, vibrant, inspirational, super intelligent, witty, leader. She was a guru of social media marketing in wine as an early adopter and then a market leader. As a colleague on the wine marketing council, her voice resonated with a true passion for our industry. So sad, she will be truly missed by so many.” Danielle Giroux
Michèle Bosc’s favourite quote about the family’s winery was “Making wine is not what we do, it’s who we are.” She was the wife of Paul Bosc Jr., the mother of their son Alex, and also a daughter and a sister. And an ambassador for the Ontario wine industry.
In recognition of Michèle’s life and her contribution to the Ontario wine industry, here are some wine recommendations from her family’s winery.
Château des Charmes Brut Sparkling (Vintages #224766, $25.95) — Michèle loved sparkling wine and was a promoter of Ontario bubbly. She was always excited to talk about Château des Charmes wines, especially this one. Produced the same way as Champagne, (traditional method) with Ontario chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, this dry (brut) effervescent wine offers apple and pear fruit notes with terrific acidity. Secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle and it is aged at least two years before disgorgement, resulting in the added bready notes and creamy texture. Michèle’s favourite food pairing for this wine was popcorn. It was elected as an LCBO Vintages Essential (a collection of approximately 100 fine wines and spirits from around the world that are proven favourites, represent the county and region well and are usually available.)
Château des Charmes Vidal Icewine (Vintages #565861, $27.96 / 200mL bottle) — The day after Michèle’s death, Château des Charmes had to harvest the grapes for the 2018 icewine. When it is ready to be released, there are plans in the works that this Icewine will have a special label in honour of Michèle. The 2017 vintage is currently available at LCBO stores and the winery. Super sweet, candied apricot, honey and marmalade. Michèle recommended pairing with crème brûlée.
Château des Charmes Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir (VINTAGES #332858, $38.95) — This is a good representation of a top-shelf Ontario pinot noir. Red cherry fruit lead, with earthy forest floor and smoky notes. It is a medium-bodied wine that is elegant in old world style. Michèle’s pairing suggestion — herb-encrusted rack of lamb or cedar-planked salmon with a hoisin glaze.