© Eric Quesnel
AOC and know-how

discover Cotentin cider

Discover Cotentin cider: from its production to its A.O.C. !

The stages of cider making follow an ancestral tradition that guarantees the taste, flavour, colour and sparkle of this liquid as we know it. We can reveal here many of the little secrets behind its manufacture. 

How is cider made ?

Cider has been produced in the heart of Normandy and its green pastures for thousands of years.
This alcoholic drink (to be consumed in moderation) is produced using ancestral techniques from apples grown in the orchards of our Normandy woodland.
The first crucial step is the picking of the apples. The time must be appropriate and the fruit ripe. These important steps are the guarantee of a good quality cider !

The apples are then carefully washed and sorted to remove any mouldy or damaged fruit that would yield a low alcohol cider and impurities. Once this is done, the apples are crushed into pieces (not too small) so that the juice can be extracted easily afterwards.
A pulp is obtained which must be stored for between 6 and 10 hours to settle in a vat; this is called fermentation. This step is also very important for the rest of the process because it increases the juice’s yield and allows all the aromas to develop.

The process continues: the apple nectar is transformed

The most spectacular operation comes next : the pressing. In the past, the press used was a screw press. The presses used today are certainly less rooted in history but allow for a greater yield of juice. Straw was also used to drain the juice, but this technique is now only used by a few die-hard fans of old-fashioned techniques. The extracted juice is then put into barrels.
Then comes the racking stage. This is the process of transferring the juice from one barrel to another to remove the lees. Fermentation will then do its work and transform the sugar into alcohol under the action of yeast, which is naturally present. The cider maker must pay close attention to the fermentation process. The slower it is, the more it will ensure a cider with great taste and quality. A second racking (not compulsory) is then necessary to remove the new lees and possibly slow down the fermentation of the cider if necessary. The cider can then be bottled.

Depending on the desired cider, a densitometer is used to evaluate the density of the must (the amount of sugar remaining in the cider) and according to the value the cider is more or less dry and more or less sweet. Depending on the desired taste, we bottle when the value on the densitometer is reached.

Cider tourism

in the Coutançais

Cotentin cider (A.O.C) is produced naturally in the heart of the Norman woodland. This cider of a rare quality with an incomparable taste is made from a selection of the best apple trees in the Normandy orchards. Its artisanal production method and traditional techniques make it a top-of-the-range product.

Since June 2016, Cotentin cider has been awarded an AOC, an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée [controlled appellation of origin], which makes it one of the benchmarks for Norman cider. Thanks to the committed producers who offer a cider that meets strict specifications, you can enjoy a cider of exceptional quality.