Inspired by the technique used to make ice wine and by our very particular climate, ice cider (also known as apple ice wine) was born out of the Québec terroir, which has the extreme cold winter temperatures needed to produce the concentration of sugars for its creation.

La Face Cachée de la Pomme makes ice cider using two natural processes that they contributed to developed—cryoconcentration and cryoextraction.

Seeking a reserved designation for Québec apple ice wines

The directors of La Face Cachée de la Pomme, in collaboration with the Cidriculteurs artisans du Québec, have been working for more than eight years with government representatives to develop a reserved designation for Québec ice cider.

In 2005, François Pouliot presented a bill before a parliamentary committee. Finally, in November 2008, the definition and specific standards for Québec ice ciders were finally recognized as part of the Règlement sur le cidre et les autres boissons alcooliques à base de pommes (regulation respecting cider and other apple-based alcoholic beverages). It’s a step in the right direction! This will regulate ice cider production and protect this home-grown know-how that we developed.

Definition and specific standards

“Ice Cider,” or the cider obtained from the fermentation of the juice of apples, must attain a pre-fermentation sugar concentration of at least 30 degrees Brix by natural cooling alone, and the finished product must contain  a residual sugar level of at least 130 grams per litre as well as an acquired alcoholic content of more than 7%, up to a maximum of 13% per volume.

Furthermore, the following specific requirements must be met:

  1. No chaptalization.
  2. No added alcohol.
  3. During the production of the ice cider, the use of artificial cooling is only permitted for purposes of malic precipitation and only if the temperature is not lower than -4°C.
  4. No artificial flavours or colours.
  5. Ice cider producers must cultivate the apples required for the production of this alcoholic drink. However, holders of a manufacturer’s license can produce ice cider using a maximum of 50% of apples that they did not grow.
  6. Ice cider can be infused artificially with carbon dioxide provided that the volume of dissolved carbon dioxide per volume of finished product is 1.5 to 2.5 or 3.5 to 5.5.
  7. The present regulation came into effect on December 4, 2008.