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.
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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". During World War I cider brandy was requisitioned for use in armaments due to its alcohol content.
Many of the traditional farmhouse structures were replaced by modern agriculture with high output. The Calvados appellation system was revised in and Cider brandy is also made in the UK, and appears in records going back to Somerset cider brandy gained European protected geographical indication PGI status in It is not uncommon for a Calvados producer to use over specific varieties of apples, which are either sweet such as the Rouge Duret variety , tart such as the Rambault variety , or bitter such as the Mettais, Saint Martin, Frequin, and Binet Rouge varieties , the latter being inedible.
The fruit is harvested either by hand or mechanically and pressed into a juice that is fermented into a dry cider. It is then distilled into eau de vie. After two years aging in oak casks, it can be sold as Calvados. The longer it is aged, the smoother the drink becomes. Usually the maturation goes on for several years. Single continuous distillation in a column still. The usual arguments for and against the two processes are that the former process gives the spirit complexity and renders it suitable for longer aging whilst the latter process gives the calvados a fresh and clean apple flavour but with less complexity.
In fact there is a growing belief that a well operated column still can produce as complex and "age-able" Calvados as Double Distillation. AOC calvados makes up for over 70 percent of the total production. Minimum of two years ageing in oak barrels. The terroir, geographical area, is defined.
The apples and pears are defined cider varieties. The procedures in production like pressing , fermentation, distillation and ageing is regulated. Usually single column distillation. Extensive quality control—the basic rules for AOC calvados together with several additional requirements. Aging for a minimum of two years in oak barrels.
Double distillation in an alembic pot-still. A minimum of six weeks fermentation of the cider. Flavour elements are controlled. AOC calvados Domfrontais reflects the long tradition of pear orchards in the area, resulting in a unique fruity calvados.
The regulation is similar to the AOC calvados and the column still is used. A minimum of 30 percent pears from the designated areas is used. A three-year minimum of ageing in oak barrels. The orchards must consist of at least 15 percent of pear trees 25 percent from the sixteenth harvest.
A blend is often composed of old and young calvados. Producers can also use the terms below to refer to the age. Often sold much older. High quality calvados usually has parts which are much older than that mentioned. Calvados can be made from a single generally, exceptionally good year. When this happens, the label often carries that year. Tasting Calvados is the basis of the tradition of le trou Normand, or "the Norman hole". This is a small drink of Calvados taken between courses in a very long meal, sometimes with apple sorbet , supposedly to re-awaken the appetite.
Well-made calvados should naturally be reminiscent of apples and pears, balanced with flavours of aging. The less aged calvados distinguishes itself with its fresh apple and pear aromas. The longer the calvados is aged, the more the taste resembles that of any other aged brandy.
As calvados ages, it may become golden or darker brown with orange elements and red mahogany. The nose and palate are delicate with concentration of aged apples and dried apricots balanced with butterscotch, nut and chocolate aromas. Known as Le Trou normand , it is normally taken as a palate cleanser between courses at a regimental dinner.
In the Swedish television police procedural Beck, the main character, Martin Beck , regularly drinks Calvados. In the anime Sound of the Sky , the members of the st Platoon secretly run a distillery in which Calvados is produced. In the film Midnight In Paris, several characters drink Calvados throughout the film. In the eighth episode of the second season of Party Down , Calvados becomes a plot point when science-fiction writer AF Gordon Theodore repeatedly requests the drink after the caterers run out.
See also Applejack beverage , a similar American drink References Commons has media related to Calvados spirit.
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.
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.
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