||Driven by a passionate desire to create an authentic product inspired by the bracing chill of the Québec winter, François Pouliot, a well-known film producer, helped to develop the first ice cider (also known as apple ice wine) in 1994 at his boutique cidery, La Face Cachée de la Pomme (The Hidden Face of the Apple) in Hemmingford, Québec.
Neige, which means snow in French, is made from the pressed juice of apples, which is concentrated as it freezes during the cold Québec winters at La Face Cachée de la Pomme.
In late fall, very ripe apples are harvested and placed in fresh storage. Just before Christmas, they are pressed, producing more than 300,000 liters of juice. The freshly extracted juice is left outside at the mercy of temperature variations, violent winds, and bitter cold for nearly six weeks. Slowly, the water freezes and separates from the sugar, which is gravity harvested.
In late January, the harvested must—a concentrate that represents barely one-fourth the initial amount of juice—begins six or seven months of cold fermentation. Up to 7 kilograms of Macintosh and Spartan beauties are required to produce 500 ml of liquid gold Neige.|