Drink cider? It is done. Find out how this sparkling apple drink is made? It will soon be done, thanks to this list of cider-producing estates to discover and visit absolutely during your getaway on the Cider Route.
In many regions of France, there is the Route des Vins. In the Pays d'Auge, there is the Cider Route : a circular route (and signposted) of about forty kilometers, which crosses in particular the municipalities of Beuvron-en-Auge, Victot-Pontfol, Cambremer, Saint-Ouen-le-Pin, Bonnebosq or even Beaufour Druval. On this road, you can discover everything that makes the region so charming: orchards, castles, half-timbered houses, mansions, but also cider-producing estates. We have selected three for you.
The Dupont estate
The best ciders deserve the same attention as the best wines
This is the mantra of this family estate, which spans almost 30 hectares of orchards in Normandy, in the heart of the Pays d'Auge.
In order to produce an exceptional cider of top-of-the-range quality, the estate draws inspiration from the techniques used for the production of Calvados and Grands Crus (manual sorting of apples, work with an oenologist).
A process that allows them to offer vintage ciders such as a cider cuvée aged in oak barrels, or a cuvée made according to the method used for sparkling wines.
As with wine, the choice of grape variety is an important step in the making of cider. At Dupont family estate, there are no less than 6000 apple trees, and 13 different varieties of apples.
The advantage of growing in the Pays d'Auge? The soils there are poor, which is far from being a disadvantage: the fruits are smaller, yes, but also more concentrated in taste.
For visits, you have the choice
Without reservation: from May to September, as well as during school holidays. On the program: visit of the distillery, the cellars, followed by a tasting of a cider, a pommeau and a calvados.
By reservation for groups:
- The short visit, which lasts about an hour. You will discover the distillery and the cellars, and end with a tasting of the estate's products;
- The big visit, which lasts about 1h30. In addition to the elements mentioned above, you will discover the orchards and the press;
- The tasting visit, where the art of associating local cheeses, charcuterie and pastries with cider products;
- The professional visit, more technical. Follow the ruler through the domain. Harvesting, choice of varieties, brewing, fermentation, distillation and aging will no longer hold any secrets for you.
More of a cocktail fan? Book your place for a workshop led by a professional bartender, to learn how to create cider cocktails.
Find other visits and gourmet walks on the site of the Dupont family estate.
The Desvoye family cider farm
Nestled in Saint-Aubin-Lébizay, in the town of Beaufour-Druval, in the heart of the Pays d'Auge, this family cider house is unique in many ways. Its story begins in 1826. At the time, it was the Aumont family that produced cider on the farmland. Over the decades, the company grew and equipped itself with a baler and a grater fixed under the attic floor.
This is where the apples are stored, picked up by hand.
It was in 1947 that the estate changed its name, when Simone Aumont married Roger Desvoye. His son then took over the business and developed visits, direct sales and the notoriety of the farm by officially joining the Route du Cider. Since 2016, it is Géraldine Desvoye, her daughter, and Vincent Meilhac who take care of the exploitation, with at heart the transmission of a century-old know-how. A profitable strategy who covers them with gold medals for their ciders AOP Pays d'Auge but also for their Normandy pommel and their Fine Calvados during many festivals in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
AOP Pays d'Auge cider, Brut cider, Extra-Brut cider, Poiré, Pommeau, Calvados, Vinegar, jams, caramels, honey: the Desvoye family cider farm offers its products for sale and tasting all year round. .
Guided tours are offered throughout the year
- From mid-September to early April: visit only by appointment for groups of at least 10 people, at the price of €4/person;
- From April to mid-September: visits at 11 a.m. and 15:30 p.m. (except Wednesday and Sunday), at the price of €3,50/person.
La Desvoye cider house, it is also a cottage available for rent with a half-timbered house that can accommodate up to 6 people. It is made up of two large bedrooms, a mezzanine, a living room, a living room (perfect for board game evenings around the stone fireplace) and a fitted kitchen. Nestled in the heart of the orchards, far from the hustle and bustle of the cities, it has a private access. This makes it the ideal place for a weekend with family or friends.
The Denis Cellar
It is at the gates of Beuvron-en-Auge (one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France) that this family cellar, taken over several years ago by Geneviève and Dominique Denis. An ideal location, since it is located on the iconic Cider Route, which has made the Pays d'Auge famous in France and abroad.
Opened to the public in 1989, this cider house makes it a point of honor to do things well, in the purest tradition, which has earned them, almost every year, titles and medals (gold or silver) during regional and national competitions.
A unique universe that they propose to discover during guided tours
Every day from April to October, you can see the cellar (the famous one), the old press, the granite tower and some of the most recent installations.
From ancient to modern: here, everything is steeped in history. The leaders will be happy to share their anecdotes. The icing on the cake: it is possible (even recommended) to end the visit on a tasting. On the program: raw cider, semi-dry cider, extra-raw cider, Calvados AOC Vieille Réserve, 18-year-old Calvados AOC and perry. But do not hesitate to go there with children: the cider house also produces apple juice, fresh, sweet and thirst-quenching. Something to satisfy young and old.
You can find their products in their shop, located in the heart of the village of Beuvron-en-Auge. Take the opportunity to discover jams, jellies, cider vinegar, cider and perry confit as well as sparkling apple juice (for special occasions, but not only).
Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume with moderation.