The Tast

At Romilly Cidre, we take pride in crafting ciders with a distinctive taste that embodies the essence of Cotentin AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée). When you savor our ciders, you'll discover:

  • A harmonious balance where bitter flavors take center stage.
  • Subtle aromas on the nose, often hinting at notes of butter and dried herbs.
  • On the palate, discreet acidity that ensures a delightful equilibrium while allowing a refreshing bitterness to shine.

This characteristic bitterness, a hallmark of Cotentin AOP ciders, is achieved through meticulous blending of bitter and bittersweet apple varieties, many of which have been carefully selected over centuries.

Our Cotentin AOP Ciders are effervescent, unpasteurized, and uncarbonated, created solely from pure cider apple juice. They exhibit a captivating hue, ranging from golden yellow to orange-yellow, accompanied by fine effervescence.

Methods and Techniques We Use

Crafting our ciders is an art form, relying on traditional methods and cutting-edge techniques to deliver the finest quality. Here's a glimpse into our process:

  • Our ciders are 'pur jus,' meaning they are made from 100% fermented apple juice and never from concentrate. We bottle only what we harvest each year.
  • At Maison Hérout, we employ the "ancestral method" for all our AOP Cotentin vintages, allowing natural foam to develop in the bottle without the addition of gas, in strict adherence to appellation guidelines.
  • Over 25 years of dedicated work has seen us adapt techniques used in cognac production, ensuring that our cellar practices match the elegance and expressiveness of the finest wines.
  • Manual sorting of apples and collaboration with an oenologist are rare practices in cider making but are essential to creating the best possible cider, prioritizing the apple's quality and terroir.
  • Before pressing, apples are carefully washed and sorted on a sorting table, with any damaged or rotting fruit discarded. This step, while now common in cider making, remains exceptionally rare for ciders destined for calvados production.
  • Specially modified membrane presses, typically used in winemaking, are employed to gently and uniformly extract juice from the grated apples. This process ensures that the skin and pulp release all the aromatic potential of the apples.
  • Ripe autumn apples, crushed gently with their skins intact, undergo maceration to intensify their flavor and provide structure to the cider. The pulp is then pressed and clarified using the ancient technique of keeving.
  • After a slow, wild yeast fermentation, our Maître de Chai expertly blends the ciders to create the final cuvée. The result is pure, natural pur jus cider that tastes of the apples from which it originates.

The Production Process of Our Cider

At Romilly Cidre, our commitment to excellence extends to a diverse range of products, including Cotentin Organic AOP Millésimé Cider (Cuvée Tradition and Grande Cuvée), Micro-Cuvées of Organic Vintage Cider, Calvados AOC (Young, VSOP, XO, 12 years old, and brut de cask cuvées in limited editions), organic Normandy cider brandy, Pommeau de Normandie Bio AOP, Organic Apple Juice, and Organic Cider Vinegar.

Our cider production process involves the following key steps:

  • After obtaining apple marc (pulp from grated apples), maceration of the pulp allows natural compounds essential for fermentation to develop before pressing.
  • We utilize a double-headed packet press from the 1920s to obtain an exceptionally fine juice.
  • The juice undergoes a 3 to 5-day fermentation, resulting in natural clarification and the development of golden amber tints.
  • Fermentation continues in vats for several weeks, and the cider is then racked and bottled.
  • The clarified juice embarks on its second stage of alcoholic fermentation, with native yeasts transforming sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, without the addition of external yeasts.
  • Slow fermentation in the bottle, lasting between 4 and 7 months, depending on desired dosage and vintage, gives rise to natural effervescence.
  • The 3rd fermentation stage, known as taking natural foam in the bottle, occurs for a minimum of 2 months, allowing residual sugar to nourish yeasts and naturally produce carbon dioxide. This imparts the natural sparkle to Cotentin AOP Ciders from Maison Hérout.

Our adherence to traditional methods, featuring indigenous yeasts for the initial fermentation and the exclusion of gasification, pasteurization, or additives, is what guarantees the quality and distinctive flavor profile of AOP Cotentin ciders from Maison Hérout.

Production Process of Romilly Calvados

Our commitment to excellence extends to our calvados production. Here's an insight into the meticulous process:

  • Cider earmarked for calvados undergoes a six-month aging period on its lees to enhance its aromatic richness while avoiding any unwanted tainting.
  • Distillation, a crucial step for achieving AOC "Calvados du Pays d'Auge," draws from Etienne Dupont's knowledge of double distillation methods used in Cognac production.
  • The Domaine Dupont alembic allows flexible and precise distillation, resulting in a colorless eau-de-vie measuring between 68° and 72°. This is the foundation for our cider brandy.
  • Slow fermentation over two months, after the initial fermentation, ensures the cider destined for calvados retains its aromatic purity.
  • The cider brandy ages in oak barrels, starting with young barrels for around 3 months to impart vanilla notes without overpowering the apple essence.
  • As the calvados progresses to older barrels, it undergoes evaporation, allowing for concentration of aromas and the development of complexity.
  • The colorless eau-de-vie gradually transforms, taking on hues ranging from golden yellow to amber as it ages.
  • Calvados AOC from Maison Hérout is nurtured to perfection through patient aging.

Young Calvados with fruity bouquets are ideal as aperitifs, accompaniments to meals, or post-meal drinks. Older Calvados offer a tasting experience that demands time and appreciation, revealing the complexity of their bouquet. Silky ones are best savored on their own, while those with intense aromas can complement coffee, high-cocoa-content chocolate, or a carefully selected cigar.

At Romilly Cidre, our commitment to natural, pure, and quality-driven production remains unwavering, delivering exceptional cider and calvados to connoisseurs worldwide.