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Christian Barthomeuf, this cursed frenchman who has put Quebec in a glass

Route self-taught auvergne, inventor of the ice cider, that nothing is predestined to become one of the fathers of the viticulture in quebec. "Peasant rebel"

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Christian Barthomeuf, this cursed frenchman who has put Quebec in a glass

Route self-taught auvergne, inventor of the ice cider, that nothing is predestined to become one of the fathers of the viticulture in quebec.

"Peasant rebel". Upon signature of mail, Christian Barthomeuf color ad. Installed with Louise, his "companion in life" Ended Saragnat, on the slopes of Mount Pinnacle in Frelighsburg (about a hundred kilometres south of Montreal, a few hundred yards from the u.s. border), the young man in his seventies said : "we Rebel against the chemical industry, rebel against the plants that contain a fifty pesticide residues..."

Him practice the culture that is not only organic but "fundamental", as he calls it. Beyond the denial of the use of GMOS, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, Christian Barthomeuf leaves the insects, animal dung or leaves play their role. On the 35 acres of the property, only a handful is grown. The trees themselves grow in the middle of a small jungle wild biodiversity. Here, nature is self-regulating. "I learned to speak the apple tree," said the humor in this adept of the cult book in the field of agriculture wild The revolution of a single strand of straw, Japanese, Masanobu Fukuoka.

In Quebec, on a whim

With its imposing silhouette lanky, his mop of white, and his voice hoarse, Christian Barthomeuf stands out in the landscape of québec. In spite of the peasant roots, nothing predestined yet this native of Aubière, Auvergne, to this life of immigrant pioneer. At the beginning of his twenties, when he worked in the production of films in Montpellier, he encounters a small band of Quebec, students at the university. After a year of holidays well-watered, these are out of the country. Without thinking too much, Christian Barthomeuf the steps. "I had to spend a sabbatical year... and I'm still here !", summed up-he just. We are in August 1974.

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followed a few years working in the sale of systems in Montreal. One day, he meets a fellow frenchman who invites him home, to Frelighsburg. A few days later, the Auvergne buy a small farm in ruin in the area. He began a breeding geese. But, with agronomists, he realizes that the thermal units in the region, of the indices to facilitate the decisions of agricultural plantations, are comparable to the... Vineland, Ontario, the neighbouring province famous for its land with vineyards. "If someone had told me Bananaland, I would certainly have planted banana trees," smiled the one who knows nothing of the vine. In good self-taught, he decides to learn important a dozen books of horticulture of France.

In 1980, within the Domaine des Cotes d'ardoise, in Dunham, in the Montérégie region, it is then the first to plant a vineyard business in Quebec. Very quickly, he is nicknamed "the madman" or "the village idiot". But Christian Barthomeuf does not unmount. It covers land young vines so they can spend the harsh winter in quebec and did some small jobs to provide for his needs. The first bottle of wine - red - sees the light of day in 1983. Not a great vintage, but enough potential to convince a great surgeon montreal to invest in the idea and bought the vineyard. Nearly 30 years later, the province of Québec has more than a hundred of vineyards, half of which are in the Montérégie region. Dunham became the provincial capital of the vine and the crossroads of the picturesque wine Route.

"Here, this is the decay pure'

"Our apples are picked, frozen in the tree, or, like this year where it was warmer, left in the basket, the time that it makes quite cold (- 10°C), Christian Barthomeuf.

- (c) personal Collection/C. Barthomeuf

In 1989, Christian Barthomeuf recidivism by becoming the first winemaker in quebec to produce ice wine, a drink made from grapes frozen, especially popular in Ontario or British Columbia. In light of the frozen apples in the trees, he had the idea, in the process, invented what will become an alcohol emblematic of the unique terroir : the ice cider. "Every time it is random, as if life decided for me," says the force of nature, just appointed member of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian award in the country.

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pointing to its large tanks are horizontal, it states that, to him, does not freeze apples to realize his precious apple cider. "Our apples are picked, frozen in the tree, or, like this year where it was warmer, left in the basket, the time that it makes quite cold (- 10°C)". Despite its status, Christian Barthomeuf doesn't grow its reputation for marketing to increase their sales. A voluntary choice : "Here, this is the decay pure. It produces only what we need to have a good quality of

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