A step in the right direction
Sensing that the tides had turned, Jodoin headed to Europe to perfect his knowledge and to learn the traditional ‘Champagne method’. He returned home, and in 1988, got his artisanal cider production and sales permit. He launched operations from his garage with the sales goal of 100 bottles per month. His father remained skeptical: Few people passed along the orchard’s country road! Six months later, he was still far from meeting his sales goal. Needing to sell his cider stock, the ingénue cider-maker headed to the Journal de Montréal, flanked by oenologist and friend Robert Demoy. “We went there with a case of cider. The journalist decided to talk with us, and even gave us a whole page’s worth of coverage. I guess we were convincing,” he laughs.
An apple a day…
That was 30 years ago. Today, the Cidrerie Michel Jodoin produces its goods at full capacity, selling on Canadian and European markets. The old apple crate storage barn has become a boutique, and apple puns, written in French, decorate the walls: Chaque pomme est une fleur qui a connu l’amour; Boire la vie en rose; Les bulles poussent dans les arbres… In recent years, Michel Jodoin has worked to perfect his brand’s image. “I’ve invested a lot in design and marketing. We follow trends and react accordingly – with social media, things change fast,” Jodoin remarks.
He also appears ready for evolution – as his new colourful ready-to-drink aluminum cans and apple vermouth indicate.
“I’m up for innovation! Younger drinkers have no prejudices about Quebec cider, and you can now find it in grocery stores, bars, restaurants, pretty much everywhere. Cider has a bright future ahead of it.” Now there’s something to raise your glass to!