As we saw in the last column, Lassonde launched Arista Wines in 2006. This promising subsidiary allowed the company to use its expertise and technology to best advantage. Maximizing its assets, whether in the form of knowledge, physical plant, equipment or land, was always one of Lassonde’s guiding principles.

Lassonde has deep roots in what is considered the apple capital of Quebec. And it happened that one of the many orchards belonging to the chairman of the board, Pierre-Paul Lassonde, neighboured one of the Rougemont plants. Apples lend themselves to making fruit juice and drinks, of course, as the company has been doing for decades. But it occurred to Pierre-Paul Lassonde to pursue a lingering dream and so, five years after the birth of Arista Wines, Lassonde officially launched a cider house, the Cidrerie Arista.

For several years already, the chairman had enjoyed making cider with friends at home in his garage! And the idea here was above all to do something pleasurable. A country gent, Pierre-Paul Lassonde has a deep love of the earth and all its bounty. A jack-of-all-trades, he can’t resist trying out new things and innovating. As a team player, he tends to surround himself with a select group of trusted colleagues whose talents he appreciates. So he quickly got in touch with a few recently retired Lassonde employees, who eagerly embarked with him on this new venture so contagious was his enthusiasm!

Today, the Cidrerie Arista markets a line of artisanal ciders under the Mont-Rouge brand as well as Pomme de Coeur smooth cider and Dublin’s Pub Irish pub-style cider, in formats designed for supermarkets and bars, where sales are steadily on the upswing!

Next column: Everywhere in North America…