a booming sector “Fermenting apples is simple, making a good cider is another story!”

A Norman cider voted best cider in the world, young producers who create astonishing blends, cider aged and enhanced like a grand cru… It’s all this effervescence that we will find at CidrExpo on Sunday March 26 and Monday March 27 at the Caen Exhibition Center.

At the beginning of March in Bordeaux, the Vinalies competition took place, which awards its prizes to the best wines and terroirs of France. In the “Ciders and fruit wines” category, Olivier Vauvrecy from the Ferme de Billy in Rots, in the Caen area, was awarded the Grail: the palm revelation for his fruity cider.

The Vauvrecy family is used to rewards. This 17th century farmhouse produces some 80,000 bottles of cider a year, as well as calva, cider vinegar and apple juice. It was in the 1980s that Henri Vauvrecy, Olivier’s father, developed the cider business by planting new apple trees. “We offer fruity ciders, full-bodied, fresh, tonic and sauvagesugar-free and finished in oak barrels” confides Olivier Vauvrecy to our colleagues from Liberté Le Bonhomme Libre. He will be present at the CidrExpo fair which starts on Sunday at the Parc des Expositions in Caen to present his productions to the general public and professionals.

For the 2ᵉ edition, the international cider fair takes place in Caen. Its ambassador and director, Sophie Ammann, is a reflection of this sparkling sector, in full renewal. Cider maker, based in Crouttes, in the heart of the Pays d’Auge, she has been producing cider for less than 2 years. Coming from an engineering background, after a career in international trade, it is the notion of respect for biodiversity and above all her love of trees that will push her to make a total professional retraining. Confinement in the countryside and a conversation with a brewer friend will naturally push her towards the cider orchard. Ella will then pass a Professional Agricultural Certificate in cidermaking at the Lycée du Robillard, the only one in France which trains in the cider trades.

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Sophie Ammann, cider maker and director of CidrExpo, guest of You are Formidable

©France 3 Normandy

Sophie Ammann then completed her training with Jean-Luc Olivier, producer of the Galotière estate in Crouttes in the Orne. It is in all humility that she acknowledges:

Fermenting apples is simple, making a good cider is another story!

Sophie Amman, cidricultrice

“It’s a job that requires great technicality, years of learning… you have to stay humble, one year isn’t worth the other.”

Cider bars are springing up everywhere, cider has become “cool” again… For Sophie, it is “a living product of its time”. It is also part of the Anglo-Saxon movement of “low alcohol” which favors drinks with little or no alcohol. For her, “the time is far from the image of Épinal of the grandparents who produced at the bottom of their farm a more or less drinkable cider!”. Cider offers a very wide taste palette. It discovers itself round, tangy, calm, raw or semi-dry.

Tasting begins with the sound of the cork!

Sophie finds the combination of cider and cheese extraordinary, and even recommends pommeau and blue cheese or even meat simmered with a round cider from the Pays d’Auge or, more original, fish combined with a tart cider. As for the eternal battle between Norman cider and Breton cider, she mischievously replies “my name is Swiss, so I choose neutrality”! In any case, we understand that cider has undergone its transformation from a local drink to a gourmet drink. An invigorating air blows in some cellars. There is like an effervescence.

More and more cider makers agree that cider ages well, and sometimes even improves. In Auvers, in the Manche, the bottles are covered with a noble dust.

“Cotentin” appellation cider ages, like wine, thanks to its tannins. Since 1997, the Hérout house has put a few bottles aside every year. In two years, he is no longer the same. It is also perhaps this idea of ​​treating apple juice like grapes that inspired a very young cider producer in Calvados: Cyprien Lireux. In Varamblay, in his La Cidrerie estate, he designs sparkling wines based on daring blends.

The first combines apple and grape, which gives it a beautiful orange color. He first had to harvest, on the banks of the Loire, then return to Normandy. The still fresh Cabernet Franc clusters are then infused in the apple juice. In the same spirit, he designed a fancy apple rhubarb and an elegant apple pear quince mix. “PomPoirekoin” offers a pleasure that is not so frequent: astonishment. Cyprien Lireux is one of those newcomers to the world of cider who infuse a pioneering spirit.

The curious public will be able to come and meet them on Sunday March 26 at the CidrExpo fair at the Caen exhibition center, and consume these promising ciders in moderation.