Chateau Chantal: “Every Day Was Valentine’s Day”

Chateau Chantal: Founding Couple Robert and Nadine Begin's Love Story

Old Mission Peninsula is known for its beautiful wineries and breathtaking views but you can find more than that at Chateau Chantal, the popular Winery/Bed and Breakfast. Founding couple Robert and Nadine Begin both served the Catholic church – Robert a priest for 12 years and Nadine a teaching nun for 22. They each chose to leave the church, looking to lead a different life and hoping to start a family.

Robert says, “She (Nadine) was beautiful, she was generous, she’s open, had a sense of oneness with her in our thoughts and how we felt about each other.”

These qualities ultimately led to them to tying the knot in 1974 and starting a family of their own, welcoming their daughter Marie-Chantal into the world. 

Another quality that had Robert smitten was Nadine’s ability to cook. He raves about her brown sugar bacon that is still served at the Bed and Breakfast today. “I don’t want to say it’s because she could cook. But I suppose that was involved in it…” Robert says with a chuckle.

Being raised by two parents who showed unconditional love guided Marie-Chantal to finding a life partner of her own. “Knowing what to look for and knowing what that true love and dedication looked like helped me find something similar for myself.”

This love that was brought into the home and shown to each guest throughout the years. From when they first opened in 1993 and what people still experience today but it’s without Nadine whose  life came to an end December 1st, 2018.

Marie-Chantal Dalese shares, “You only know the world with your mother in it and when that changes it’s just really different. I think my mom’s biggest influences on myself were is just that of a role model that sometimes is a little hard to live up to. I think just knowing how to love and give hugs is the most important thing.” 

When you’re able to spend each day next to the one(s) you love, every day should be a celebration! Not just on February 14th. “Every day was valentine’s day,” says Robert.

It’s not always about big gestures but rather unconditionally loving someone. Something Marie Chantal says she saw every day with her parents. “It’s true that not every day is going to be full of roses and cards and diamonds – that’s not what it’s about. It’s about truly caring for each other and just being fully dedicated to that person and I think that’s a really good lesson.”

And when asked what Robert and Nadine’s final words were to one another, Robert says they were three simple words. “I love you…”

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