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Mario Pouliot, father of François, at the really beginning of the cidery La Face Cachée de la Pomme, circa 1994.


François Pouliot, founder of the cidery, just celebrate his 59th birthday. We thought this was a great opportunity to tell you about some of the stages of his hectic life.

Part 1of 4.

When François Pouliot dreamed of producing a local Quebec alcohol, he was in his mid-twenties. He is a producer of video clips (he will produce over 350 with current Quebec and French artists*). Also, with a few feature films to his credit, he was even at that time the youngest film producer accredited by Telefilm Canada.

Even with all these activities, François wanted to make wine as a hobby... Over a period of two or three years, he planted 5,000 vines on his grandparents' land in Magog. But, following their death, the succession is complex and he must let go. François will look for land elsewhere to transplant his vines and continue, at a lower cost, his personal project.

29 years
It was by unearthing a stone house dating from 1842 in Hemmingford that everything became possible again:  the estate is located just 45 minutes south of Montreal and François said to himself that with such an old orchard, it must be a good terroir to replant his vines. It's 1994.

François sets up during the summer. However, only a few days later, he shot a new music video for Céline Dion in the barn**. This was another memorable shoot and a great way to introduce yourself to the small community of Hemmingford.

The ripening of the apples and autumn arrive so quickly that François is taken by surprise. His mentor Christian Barthomeuf*** then suggested that he make... ice wine with his apples!

Birth of La Face Cachée de la Pomme
François founded the cidery and without much thought, named it “La Face Cachée de la Pomme” because it produced something very, very good that we would never have thought could be made with apples.

François' vines will never be replanted. He is now a young artisan cider producer and thus obtains permit No. 27. The industry is embryonic and everything remains to be done. Also until 2000, François continued his film production activities in Montreal. The first bottles of Neige (then defined as a sweet cider) were bottled in 1995. However, the first label in the world to receive the words “Ice Cider” was the one affixed to Neige from the 1997 harvest.


*Jean Leloup, Sass Jordan, Ménélik, Mélomane, Lorie, Mitsou, Daniel Bélanger, Luc de Larochellière, Kathleen, Les BB, Vilains Pingouins, Garou, Rock Voisine, Mario Pelchat, No Déjà, etc.

**Watch the «Think Twice» video

*** Christian Barthomeuf is the recognized inventor of the ice cider recipe. On the La Face Cachée de la Pomme site, he and François will perfect the two production techniques now recognized by an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication).

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