Depends a bit on what you think is ‘important’ and what you expect from a visit. I was there recently on a family holiday with kids so it wasn’t fulltime cider hunting for me. I visited Le Pressoir / Famille Dupont / Genevieve Denis / Pierre Huet / Manoir de Grandouet / Le Lieu Cheri
They were all fun visits, and very different from eachother. At most places you can sample the whole product line and buy everything you try.
What’s important to know is that the whole area has a lunch break between 12.00-14.00 and nearly nothing is open except lunchrooms offcourse. I recommend following this rhythm and have a nice galette lunch with a cider on the side.
Also, opening hours are very friendly during July and August, before and after… probably a bit different.
A good place for a lunchbreak would be Beuvron-en-Auge which is a remarkably well preserved ancient town, if you want some sight seeing in between. Crêperie La Colomb’auge makes great fresh traditional galettes and pours a house cider that is probably a tick (Gaec Boissel demi-sec & brut). Be warned that most things except the creperie in Beuvron-en-Auge are super expensive. Bottles of Lieu Cherie (to go) go for €7.50 in shops here while they go for around €3.00 at the cidery.
From what I visited Dupont and Manoir de Grandouet were the most pleasant to visit. Dupont is a classy place. At Dupont there was an hour long public tour at 3 pm. We didn’t do the tour cause of the kids (not dragging a 3 and a 6 year old through that) but the host invited us back in for a tasting after the tour group had started their tour and everything on the terrain was open to the public, so we had our own unguided short tour.
(Dupont don’t fuck around)
Huet is classy as well and has an actual bar, but I arrived here at a strange time, 15 minutes before their lunch break, so the place was empty and people were cleaning the bar, didn’t feel very inviting so I just got a bottle pack and left.
(Huet, c’est chouette!)
Manoir de Grandouet is the most charming place, has an interesting 15 minute video about their production process, some old machines in an old barn and a friendly hostess who will let you taste anything and answer a lot of questions.
(Manoir de Grandouet)
Most other places were just storm visits to gain some bottles, only one of the ones we navigated to were closed. It was called Cidrerie Daufresne (or Cidrerie 5D on Google maps).
Comically the sign on the gate recommends you to call them before you visit… The sign also boasts some addresses where their ciders are sold. I didn’t follow up on those cause it didn’t fit in our plans that day. These places might be worth checking out though, here’s the sign:
I’ve been looking for a shop that just sells all these bottles but haven’t found anything like that. Other than the Cave de Pays D’auge (sounds good right?) my best bet would be in Cambremer which is the town where the annual AOP/AOC thing goes down.
(René Serée / Le Pressoir)
(This is how much fit in our car ;-))