The history of the Jarret Noir

Long way of the Jarret Noir

When time came for La cache à Maxime to choose a name for its wines produced in Beauce, nothing seemed like a better way to celebrate their character and origin than by calling them “LE JARRET NOIR”.

In the 18th century, Beauce was still in its infancy. For this region to thrive, a direct link with Québec City had to be established, passing through Pointe-Lévy. The only road, called la route des Seigneurs, forced travellers to follow the Chaudière River to the St. Lawrence, and then follow that to Pointe-Lévy, a long detour indeed.

At that time, the wild Sartigan forest separated Beauce from the St. Lawrence River. Only through sheer perseverance and stubbornness did Beaucerons finally build a road through this savage forest. But navigating it remained quite dangerous.

The St. Henri sector was particularly renowned for being full of a variety of hazards, including swamps and bogs in which travellers would sink in up to their knees. Although wooden bridges were constructed in an attempt to tame the area, bridges consisting of logs on the muddy earth, it was impossible for the travellers to make the trip without getting quite muddy. Even the American general Benedict Arnold and his army, en route to Quebec City, got stuck there in 1775.

It was therefore relatively easy to visually pick out those who arrived in Pointe-Lévy from Beauce, thanks to their muddy pants, their “jarrets noirs” (“black shanks”). That was all it took for this expression to be associated with Beaucerons, even today.

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