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Normandie Cider Route

I’ve been doing some research on the Normandy Cider Route, and was trying to figure out which locations on the route are the most important to visit. Is there somebody local that would be willing to give me advice on which places are the best use of my time? I currently want to visit Domaine DuPont, but what are the opinions of the locals?

I’ll be touring around the country, but will be in Paris 10-14 September. If anybody wants to hang out and visit beer places around the city, that would be fun.

Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided!
Jeremy

@sjogro was there recently, maybe he has some tips.

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. :slight_smile:

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.


(Beuvron-en-Auge)

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.


(Denis)


(René Serée / Le Pressoir)


(This is how much fit in our car ;-))

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Also I hear from @SinH4 that this place in Cambremer is worth a visit for an insanely nice ice cider: https://www.domaine-am.com/

Good luck on your travels!

One last truc, don’t know if it helps, but I picked up this brochure on one of my last visits (doh!)
Here’s the whole thing:

image image image

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well, I have not been there, but I have tried 2 Cidres and 1 Cidre de glace, and they were all very good to insanely good.

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Qualifies for a visit in my book :joy:

@sjogro thanks for the super thorough response. I had been looking online for a map of the route, but didn’t have much luck, so thanks for including the pictures.

I particularly enjoy dry ciders, so if any are doing those particularly well, I am interested. Is it safe to assume most of the cider on this route is more on the dry side? Are any sour?

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This depends on how you perceive dryness and sourness.

Generally, you can expect lots of barn and funk, no “sourness” per se. The Cidres are going to range from Brut to demi-sweet. In many producers, even the Brut ones do have sweetness there, but the minerality can usually balance it. They will feel juicy on the tongue, but are going to be fairly dry, almost dusty, in the back. Most of them are not going to be dry like a Spanish Sidra Natural or like an English dry still cider. That’s how I perceive it.

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(Pic from a wall at manoir de grandouet)

The most ciders here are the “simple” table stuff that comes in brut, demi-sec and sometimes doux.

Genevieve Denis’ Brut cider was too acidic for my girlfriend’s palate so that might be a good one for you to try.

Also the cider from Le Pressoir had a bit vinagrous cellar funk to it as I remember from sampling.

Dupont prides itself in only doing brut ciders. Trying to take cider from pancake level restaurants to the haute cuisine. But then again they have a pretty clean cider, not so funky and farmhousey as for example Lieu Cheri or Manoir Grandouet, who make you wonder how they got so many goats in the fermentation tank. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Dupont Reserve (Calvados Barrel Aged cider) is currently the nr. 1 cider on RateBeer so if you haven’t already tried that you must try while around! Bottles at the domaine go for around €10.
General bottle price for other stuff is around €3 per bottle.

Last but not least be warned for tight corners and slopes and oncoming cars on country roads when you least expect them. Be careful sampling and driving! And enjoy!

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