Ten things you should know about Apple Ice Wine from Quebec
From my conversation with Francois Pouliot - proprietor of La Face Cachée de la Pomme.
1. Why apples? Because Hemmingford, Quebec isn't exactly the easiest place in the world to grow grapes.
2. The Cidery's first vintage was 1994. However, until 2001, apple ice wine was mostly a hobby for Francois and his wife Stephanie. Currently, La Face has 16 employees.
3. The term, Neige means snow in French. The cidery's special cuvee is called Neige Eternelle.
4. For Neige ciders, apples are harvested late in the autumn, stored until late December and then pressed. The juice is stored outside where water separates from the sugars as it freezes. Once the temperature dips to -25 (C; not F) the concentrated nectar is brought inside and gradually allowed to ferment.
5. La Face Cachée de la Pomme uses 8 different apple varieties in its cider, with Macintosh being the dominant variety.
The Caveman attempts to describe ice cider
6. La Face's Frima cider is made from frozen apples left hanging on the tree. Frimas are the result of a slow, cool 6-month fermentation process. This cider is what one might call, "the essence of apple." It's honey-amber in color with intense scents of apple, orange, caramel and clove.
7. Six kilograms of apples are required for a single 375ml bottle of Frima.
8. Foie gras is an ideal match for ice cider. Aged Cheddar and creamy bleu work also.
9. Stephanie and Francois enjoy kicking off a meal with Champagne..and ending it with a glass of ice cider.
10. La Face Cachée de la Pomme exports primarily to France and the U.S. Its ciders are also available in Mexico, Europe and Japan.