Our Orchard

Overview of Romilly Cidre

Maison Hérout and the Famille Dupont Family estate are proud to share our collective heritage with you. Nestled in the heart of Normandy's Pays d'Auge region, our orchards span over a picturesque landscape, embodying centuries of cider-making tradition.

  • Maison Hérout boasts a 10-hectare orchard, featuring a harmonious mix of high-stem (30%) and low-stem (70%) apple trees.
  • The Famille Dupont Family estate extends across 30 hectares (74 acres) in Normandy, Europe's orchard, home to 6,000 apple trees comprising 13 distinct varieties.

The Landscape and Soil

Our orchards flourish on the Armorican Massif, a geological masterpiece of shale, sandstone sediments, and ancient granites. Beneath a protective layer of loamy soil, the terrain is exceptionally well-drained, with minimal sand or stony components.

In the heart of the Pays d'Auge's nutrient-deficient soils, rich in marl and chalky marl from the Oxfordian era, our apple trees thrive. These challenging conditions yield smaller apples with heightened aromatic intensity, emphasizing the ratio of skin to pulp for optimal tannin extraction. We prioritize quality over yield and abstain from nitrogenous fertilizers that swell fruit through water retention.

Our estate, nestled within low undulating plateaus, graces the landscape with gentle contours, surrounded by natural hedges that form small islands, ideal for organic farming. This unique terroir has earned us the prestigious "Nature refuge" label, awarded by the Groupement Ornithologique Normand.

Maintaining permanent grass cover in our orchard fosters healthy competition that results in the synthesis of compounds essential for cider production. Additionally, our orchard features beehives to enhance apple tree pollination, producing "all-flower" honey—a fusion of meadow flowers and apple blossoms.

The Climate

Our region enjoys a highly oceanic climate, accentuated by its peninsular location. This climate is characterized by frequent and generous rainfall, a narrow temperature range with infrequent frosts, and the occasional, robust westerly winds.

The deep soils and coastal climate create ciders with lower sugar density, marked by their distinct character and balance.

Mild temperatures and abundant rainfall create fertile grounds, ideal for cultivating apples. In the remote, rugged landscapes of Brittany and the lush orchards of Normandy, unique apple varieties flourish, each contributing its own essence to our blends. Nature has gifted no cider country more naturally.

Trees and Apple Varieties

Our orchard boasts a diverse collection of apple trees, reflecting the legacy of our heritage:

  • The average age of our apple trees varies between 10 and 65 years, with ongoing replanting efforts.
  • Over 25 apple varieties grace our orchard, including the native Rouge de Cantepie, now recognized as one of the Cotentin protected designations of origin.
  • More than 80% of our orchard comprises local varieties such as "Petit amer," "Taureau," "Cartigny," "Rouge de Cantepie," and "Binet Rouge." These apples are known for their bitterness, richness in phenolic compounds, and bittersweet profile.
  • The remaining 20% features "accessory" varieties like Doux Moine, Marie-Ménard, Clos Renaux, and Petit Jaune, each contributing to the complexity of our ciders.

Just as with wine, the choice of apple variety is pivotal in crafting exceptional cider. The balance of bitter, bittersweet, and sharp apples creates a harmonious blend, resulting in a cider that delights the palate.

Our harvesting season spans from September to November to ensure apples are picked at their peak ripeness. Each apple tree receives three visits to gather only the finest fruit. We've embraced modern storage techniques, utilizing openwork wooden boxes known locally as "pallox" instead of attic storage to protect the fruit's quality.