The first known Norman distillation was carried out by "Lord" de Gouberville in , and the guild for cider distillation was created about 50 years later in In the 17th century the traditional ciderfarms expanded but taxation and prohibition of cider brandies were enforced elsewhere than Brittany , Maine and Normandy. The area called "Calvados" was created after the French Revolution, but "eau de vie de cidre" was already called "calvados" in common usage. When a phylloxera outbreak in the last quarter of the 19th century devastated the vineyards of France and Europe, calvados experienced a "golden age".
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Calvados Online, the premier source for calvados. Calvados Online is proud to offer you only the finest calvados from Normandy, meticulously selected from amongst the dozens of calvados brands available in France. Most widely exported calvados is of bulk commercial quality, pleasant enough, but only a pale shadow of what the drink can be: a rich amber nectar, with heady aromas of baked apples, toffee and brioche, and a taste that combines the mouth-watering freshness of a crisp apple with the mellowness of an old brandy.
The best calvados is made by a handful of dedicated small family producers, using apples from ancient trees and production methods unchanged from their fathers and grandfathers before them. We live in Normandy, and even more importantly, our office is right in the middle of the apple growing heartland where the finest calvados is produced - so we know exactly where to find the very best bottlings, some of which are ONLY available in the region.
Calvados, the fine spirit of Normandy Calvados is an apple brandy distilled from cider made from specially grown cider-apples, of which there are over varieties divided in 4 categories: sweet, bitter-sweet, bitter and acidulous. Apples are harvested by hand and pressed into a juice that is fermented into cider. The cider is then distilled into a colourless eau-de-vie. After years aging in oak casks, the eau-de-vie gets its typical colour, aroma and character, and can be called a "calvados".
There are 3 appellations - AOC - for calvados or calva as we say here : Calvados. Minimum 2 years of aging. No method of distillation imposed but the most common equipment used is the single-column alembic. Minimum 2 years of aging in oak barrels. Calvados Domfrontais. Minimum 3 years of aging in oak barrels. Single distillation in a single-column alembic. But there is also a fourth category of calvados: the farm-made calvados, the secret one, the artisanal one that nobody can talk about in public.
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Calvados Experience An unforgettable visit Lasting one hour and fifteen minutes, the tour is sure to get your five senses awakened. It begins with an introduction to this world-famous apple brandy, then continues with the story of the region and an immersive tour of a typical pre-war Norman village, complete with a farm and market place. Visitors will learn all about the life of the apple tree in the orchard room, discover the secrets of Calvados production in the apple-press and fermentation room, and will find out more about the art of distillation and the traditional know-how of ageing and blending. The visit concludes in the tasting bar, where an expert will guide visitors through the three steps of the art of tasting: the eye, the nose and the palate. The birth of this new major Norman attraction was therefore driven by the desire to promote not only a product, but also a region and its history. A combination of aromatic, audio and visual effects make the visit a special sensorial experience for all visitors, young and old alike.
Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy
Culture[ edit ] The Bayeux Tapestry is on display in Bayeux and makes the city one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Normandy. The local dialect of the Norman language is known as Augeron. It is spoken by a minority of the population. Tourism[ edit ] Calvados is one of the most visited areas in France because of its seaside resorts which are among the most prestigious in France with their luxurious hotels, casinos, green countryside, manors, castles, the quiet, the chalk cliffs, the typical Norman houses, the history of William the Conqueror, Caen, Bayeux, Lisieux, the famous D-day beaches and numerous museums about the Second World War. One of the advantage of Calvados is to be fairly near large urban centers Paris, Ile de France. Calvados is therefore often preferred for holidays and for weekends and sometimes considered as the countryside of Paris.
That holds for my relationship with the top trio of French brandies: calvados, the apple brandy from Normandy, cognac, made from doubly distilling white wine in Charente and Charente-Maritime, and armagnac, made from the singly distilling white wine in Gascony. Call me old-fashion, but I still appreciate brandy an occasional digestif after a lengthy meal and as a nightcap. Among the trio of brandies mentioned above, cognac and armagnac, as grape-based spirits, carry more prestige than apple-based calvados, yet calvados is the one I most frequently encounter on my travels for the simple reason that I visit Normandy from Paris more often than I visit Charente or Gascony. One of those visits to Normandy was to the Calvados Nouvelle Vogue International Trophies , an annual bartending competition to create the best calvados-based cocktails.
In the Spirit of Normandy: Calvados Cocktails
In fact[ citation needed ], a growing belief[ by whom? A minimum of two years aging in oak barrels is required. The terroir, geographical area, is defined. The apples and pears are defined cider varieties. The procedures in production, such as pressing , fermentation , distillation, and ageing, is regulated. Usually, single-column distillation is used.