Authentic and artisanal methods of production
Our 24 hectares of orchards are planted with more than 6000 apple trees (15 hectares of traditional “high-stem” apple trees, 9 hectares of “half-stem” apple trees). Among the 30 varieties of cider apple we use, the most common are : Antoinette, Frequin Rouge, Bisquet, Moulin à Vent (bitter and bittersweet apples, 70% of the production), Bedan, Noël des Champs (sweet apples, 20%), Rambaud, René Martin (acid apples, 10%).
From October to December all the cider apples are sorted by hand and cleaned before being pressed. 600 tons are pressed each year on average ; 1 ton of apples can produce 700 litres of distillation cider.
Double distillation on wood Fire
Our three small pot-stills are very old and still warmed with wood fire that guarantees the authentic and painstaking production of our Calvados. Apple ciders (6-7%vol.) are distilled after one year of slow and natural fermentation on fine lees. The first heating of cider in our alembic pot-stills produces the intermediary alcohol named “petite eau” (“small liquor”) at 30% vol. The second distillation is the “proper heating” (“la bonne chauffe”) and produces Calvados at 70% vol. on average. In both of distillations we separate heads (the most volatile alcohols) and the tales (the heaviest ones) to keep only the best part of the distillation, the heart of the production : “le coeur de chauffe”.
Calvados ageing in very old oak casks
We start Calvados ageing just after the distillation. Each of the five generations has brought his ageing methods and we still use them today. We age our Calvados only in very old oak barrels (most of them are more than 100 year old) to focus on the fruit taste. We have more than 350 barrels in our cellars. Barrels are never totally empty to keep roots of very old Calvados for each blend. The age mentioned on the label corresponds to the youngest vintage that was used for the blend. These traditional aging methods allow us to offer Calvados marked by the fruit, finesse and subtlety. Finally bottling is also done by us at the domain, without chill filtration in order to preserve the maximum of aromas and sweetness in our Calvados.