Cider, the traditional drink of Normandy
Cider apples, which are very different from dessert apples, are small and rich in tannins, which give ‘body’ to the drink. They are picked by variety from the end of September to mid-December, then assembled, sorted and washed to ensure that only healthy and clean fruit is kept. The apples are then crushed and slowly pressed. The juice is then put into vats for fermentation. A minimum of six weeks of fermentation is necessary before bottling. To perfect the aromatic balance, different vintages can then be blended.
The recipe is simple: fruit, wood, time and creativity! Made from fruit, either apples or apples and pears depending on the AOC (controlled designation of origin) product being made, Calvados production begins in the orchard with the harvest period from the end of September to mid-December. Cider is transformed into Calvados by distillation. This process consists of separating alcohol from water. When it leaves the still, the cider brandy is colourless and incredibly floral and fruity. To be sold as AOC Calvados, the brandy then has to be aged in oak casks for a minimum two to three years. During this maturation period, the interaction of the brandy with the wood will give the Calvados its amber colour, which becomes deeper the longer it is aged for, its flavours and its finesse.
Pommeau de Normandie
This most Norman of aperitifs earned its stripes with AOC recognition in 1991. Anchored in the greatest respect for Norman tradition, Pommeau is born from mixing the fruitiest cider apples with Calvados. This “mutage” process is typical of the region’s production areas, a symbol of Norman know-how.