Domaine Neige, birthplace of ice cider
A love story...
Located in the southern most part of Québec, the township of Hemmingford is surmounted by an immense plateau along the U.S. NY border. This area of Monteregie began developing with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants.
Construction of the stone house in which 150 years later, the owners of Domaine Neige will settle. Stone is abundant in the region and served as the base material for buildings during the colonization. Thanks to anglo-saxon masonry techniques, the structure is double-walled for better insulation.
Born on the south shore of Montreal, François Pouliot, founder of La Face Cachée de la Pomme (to be known as Domaine Neige), will then grow up in the countryside with his grandparents in Magog.
Still in university, François dives in the cinema business. In a decade, he will produce more than 350 video clips of artists like Celine Dion, Mitsou, Daniel Bélanger, Jean Leloup, Roch Voisine… as well as four feature films.
François wishes to continue his work as a film producer while making use of the land in the countryside. At the beginning, he wanted to produce wine…
To bring his passion to life, François acquires a 1842 stone-built house surrounded by an old orchard in Hemmingford, Montérégie.
In collaboration with Christian Barthomeuf, the inventor of the recipe for Ice Cider, François will take part in the development and the production of the first Ice Cider to be named such: Neige!
Picking apples in the middle of winter? People wonder what he is doing?!…
First time in the world one can read a printed article with the term “Ice Cider”. Ref. Journal de Montréal.
First design for our label with the wording «Ice Cider». This Frimas is now known under the name of Neige Winter harvest. Just like for stamps before, labels needed to be wet and applied by hand.
On December 18, François meets Stéphanie Beaudoin, visual artist. She was recognized for her project «I am dead». Now, she fell for the man’s charm… and Neige!
Stéphanie already had 8 year old twin daughters when she met François.
The journalist Philippe Mollé discovers Neige Ice Cider and writes about it most favourably.
Soon enough, the couple will leave visual production to devote itself entirely to the production of Ice Cider.
François & Stéphanie became partners in life and in business. Neige Ice Cider is shipped for the first time to the state monopoly Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).
François’s part-time hobby becomes a full-time hobby.
The family grows. Stéphanie gives birth to a third girl. Olivine will grow with Domaine Neige estate.
The cidery begins the first phase of constructions. The architect Giovanni Diodati is chosen to create volumes that will reflect the idea of a «terroir actualisé» while being in harmony with the surrounding landscape.
Neige Ice Cider lands in Europe and glow at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
Neige Ice Cider gains the prestigious prize of Tendances & Innovations at the SIAL in Paris.
Domaine Neige starts the second phase of its constructions. The old barn is moved and one new building will become the current fermenting room.
The very first Classe Neige (Snow day) is organized in January to celebrate the winter harvest. Since then, this one of a kind activity returns every year.
Neige is the first Ice Cider to be presented at the grand VINEXPO in Bordeaux.
Third phase of construction. The new boutique, the tasting room, as well as the new offices are being built.
La Face Cachée (Domaine Neige) is invited to the international meeting of Slow Food - Terra Madre - in Turino, Italy, to give a conference about Québec Ice Cider.
With Neige Ice Cider, La Face Cachée (Domaine Neige) takes part of the prestigious event in Spain: VINOBLE, the dessert wines show. It’s another first time for a cider…
La Face Cachée (Domaine Neige) is invited to present its vision of “Products of quality for landscapes of quality” at Les Entretiens de Jacques Cartier in Lyon, France.
For its contribution to the development of Ice Cider and to have started its marketing in Quebec and in the world, La Face Cachée (Domaine Neige) receives the prestigious International price from La Fundacion de la sidra in Spain.
For the next few years, Stéphanie will design and mount no less than 300 windows displays for Domaine Neige in SAQ & in Manhattan NY.
We can find Neige Ice Cider on the wine list of the famous & best restaurant in the world at the time: El Bulli in Spain.
Neige Ice Cider is served to the new President of United States - Barack Obama - when he comes on his first official visit in Canada.
From this point on, Neige Ice Cider is served in Walt Disney, Orlando, Florida.
Neige Winter harvest Ice Cider is served to one of the most prominent couples in the world at the time, Kate and Prince William, during their visit to Québec in Montreal.
Rocco, our mascot, establishes at Domaine Neige.
Following 15 years of efforts, Québec Ice Cider is finally protected by law with a reserved appellation (IGP).
We planted 16,000 trees on Domaine Neige in the last ten years.
Trees are shorter and planted in closer ranks and files. It makes picking easier, optimizes production and improves the overall ecological operation.
The orchard has been surrounded by a high wire fence to prevent destruction from local deer.
Domaine Neige has received 140 awards to date. The cidery enjoys an exceptional reputation in Québec and elsewhere in the world.
Neige Ice Cider is truly the fruit of metamorphosis; the apple transformed by the natural cold of Quebec’ harsh winter.