NATURAL AND ARTISANAL METHODS OF PRODUCTION
Our 27 hectares of orchards (soils rich in silt, flint and clay) are planted with more than 6,000 apple trees (15 hectares of “high stem” apple trees, 12 of “low stem”).
Among the 30 varieties of cider apples 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,
Petit jaune (acid apples, 10%).
All our apples are sorted by hand and washed before brewing which takes place from October to December. Between 400 and 600 tons of apples are brewed each year ; the average yield is 650 liters of cider per ton of apples.
The ciders naturally ferment for several month on fine lees until they reach an alcohol content of between 5 and 7%vol. They are then distilled.
The three small stills of our distillery are very old and still warmed with wood fire, which guarantees an authentic and meticulous production of our Calvados. These are "pot stills" for double distillation, which is the only method for the controlled appellation Calvados Pays d'Auge.
The first distillation (distillation of cider) produces “petite-eau”, an alcohol of about 30% vol. The second distillation, the "good heating" (distillation of the petite-eau) produces Calvados which comes out the stills on average at 70%vol.
In both cases, the heads (alcohols produced at the beginning of distillation, very volatile) and the tales (end of distillation alcohols, heavier and fatty) are isolated in order to keep only the heating core, the best of the distillation, to produce Calvados.
CALVADOS AGING IN OAK CASKS
Coming out the stills, Calvados will begin its aging cycle. Our blending methods are the result of the work of five generations who have brought their personal touches over time.
Nearly 400 French oak barrels and casks (from 100 liters to over 13,000 liters) are housed in our aging cellars.
The perpetual blend
For our traditional range of Calvados, we have historically used the "perpetual" (or "solera") blending method : our barrels are never replaced and completely emptied, in order to keep a base of very old Calvados for each cuvée. The age mentioned on the label corresponds to the youngest vintage in the blend.
We regularly transfer Calvados from one barrel to another, which develop ventilation and oxidation of our spirits. This aging method as well as the use of very old barrels (low in tannins) allows us to produce very fine and fruity Calvados.
Vintages and "cask finish"
For a few years now, we also bottle original Calvados which have not followed our traditional cycle of perpetual blend : single cask vintage Calvados, as well as "cask finish" in barrels of whisky, sweet jurançon and sherry in particular.
Those cuvées bring very new aromas to our range of products.
Bottling is also done by us at the estate, without chill filtration in order to preserve the maximum of aromas and texture in our Calvados.