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apple cider

Cider is a drink produced by the natural fermentation caused by blending different apple juices (pears are sometimes mixed with the apples). In France, the regions of Brittany and Normandy are particularly noted for producing the country’s largest volume of this popular libation. If you visit Brittany or Normandy you may be very surprised to see how different the cider there is from the one enjoyed in North America.

It is different not only because of its color and taste, but also in the way it is served. Indeed, Bretons typically serve cider in cups; when visiting, be sure to ask for a "bolée de cidre" (cup of cider).

bolee de cidre

Types of French Ciders

Cidre Doux
or
Soft cider

Soft ciders have a level of sugar higher than 35 g/l,, and are low in alcohol (1.5° to 3° alcohol). The color is strong, coppery, slightly amber. Soft cider aromas range from honey to candied fruits and vanilla. In the mouth, its softness dominates, but a light acidity brings freshness. Cheeses and desserts pair perfectly with this type of cider.

Cidre brut
or
Raw cider

Raw cider contains less than 28g/l of sugar, but is more alcoholic than the soft one (from 4° to 5.5° alcohol). Generally pale gold, this cider possesses a fine gaseous emission. Its flavor is slightly spicy (green pepper) with a soft licorice note. Raw cider goes well with roasted meats and fish.

Cidre Demi-sec
or
Half-dry cider

Cider with a degree of actual alcoholic strength higher than three and with a sugar content residual average between 28 and 42 g/l is considered to be “half-dry.” It is usually made on farms or by artisans.

Traditional cider

The traditional cider does not have much sugar. It is of a light yellowish color. If it looks unclear, it is because it does not go through a filtering process. Its aromas range from spices to flowers with a strong taste of fresh yeast. This cider goes very well with red meats and broiled fish.

Cidre bouché

This is one of the highest qualities of cider. It can be "doux", "brut", "demi-sec" or traditional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cider Fabrication Process

Harvesting of the apple

The harvest begins in September and lasts three months.

Crushing and Pressing

The apples are then crushed in a press to extract the must.

Filtering

The must is filtered to get rid of any residue. Some farmers do not filter the must.

Fermenting

The must is then left for fermenting in tubs or steel vats. Large producers may pasteurize their cider and add carbonic acid.

Bottling

The cider is poured into bottles. There are different types of bottles used. The best cider is usually bottled in a Champagne type of bottle. It usually features a cork stopper with a wire cap.


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