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where can I get some "authentic" calvados?

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[quote user="Spencer-Jouet"]Hi.

Does anyone here know where I could find some authentic, not factory produced Calvados in the Caen area?

Any suggestions welcomed.


Authentic , homemade calvados tastes repulsive!

ps. I have  lived  in Calvados for 4 months every year since 2005

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Not sure what you mean by 'authentic'? If you read the label you'll find that most of the calvados on sale in supermarkets in Normandy is produced on farms, albeit ones that operate on a reasonably large scale. If it says 'producteur récoltant' on the label, you know it's not made in a factory.

For instance this is produced on a family-owned farm and is available in a lot of supermarkets and tourist shops:


The Pays d'Auge is the main region for calvados, not so much around Caen. In Pays d'Auge you can't go far without seeing signs for a farm that makes its own cider/pommeau/calvados. Obviouslly those that advertise are commercial producers on a larger or smaller scale and are making a refined product for the mainstream market. The smaller ones will have their products on sale at the farm and in local shops.

To find the very small producers who make the 'real' stuff for home consumption and a few bottles to sell on the side, which certainly is an acquired taste (which Leo apparently hasn't acquired yet!), you need the benefit of local knowledge. But presumably that's not what your friend wants.
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There are certainly plenty of local producers/vendors of Calvados, and the quality is certainly highly variable to say the least, so if your friend doesn't like the supermarket brands he probably needs to go for the high-end producers rather than the basic small-scale farm ones. There are, naturally enough, a lot of producers in the actual Calvados département, of which Caen is the main town, but most are in the area to the east of Caen around the Pays d'Auge. You will also find many in the neighbouring Orne (around Domfront) and Manche (southern part) depts.

The Coquerel distillery mentioned above is in south Manche, and its products are excellent, it's where the calvados served at the Dorchester in London comes from.

The Domfontais calvados has a different, distinctive flavour, due to the appelation demanding a certain percentage of pears as well as the usual apples; some people prefer the resulting lighter, smoother taste. The Lemorton calvados sold on Brittany Ferries alongside the standard mass-produced Boulard comes from a smallish producer in this area; it may seem expensive compared with supermarkets or roadside outlets but when you consider that specialist wine merchants in England charge £200-£300 per litre for the older varieties from Lemorton, you can see that it's not bad value at all. Generally. the longer the spirit has aged, the smoother (and dearer) it will be.

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We have had a second house in Calvados for 9 years. I have visited anumber of calvdos producers over the years. The authentic calvados area is between Lisieux and honfler, the Pays D'Auge. I would really recommend Manior De Querville in Pretreville. This is near Chateau De Livet, which is also really worth a visit. The manoir is run by a family with madame now over 80 and still going strong.

The manoir only kakes one Calvados, with the last one I purchased at 22 years old. I believe they only make 1000 bottles per year. The Calvados has a a very strong and mature character. The manior is a fabulous medieval building beautifully set in the countryside. There is also a possibility of a look artond the house, certainly the grounds etc.

Hope this helps. Pete
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There are plenty of producers west of Caen as well. Would recommend Clos d'Orval at Amaye-sur-Seulles - a few miles from Caumont l'Evente. They do apple juice, cider, Calvados and pommeau as well as some preserves. It says on the site that they're open all day but don't expect any quick service if you turn up just after lunch time! You will of course be offered degustation!


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