Chateau Lezergue - Ergue-Gaberic, France

Fiberglass tanks.

Fiberglass tanks.

1 Route de Plas an Dans, 29500
Ergué Gaberic, FR
Phone: 02 98 59 63 45
http://www.chateau-lezergue.com/

Cidermaker/Guide: Joseph (co-owner)

Fruit: Uses multiple varieties of traditional French cider apples including Kermerrien, Marie-Ménard, Prat-Yeod, Douce-Moen, Kroc'hen Ki and Douce-Coêtligné.

Orchard: 35 HA owned/operated by cidery, accounting for approximately 1/3 of total volume used (remaining grown under contract).

Harvest practice: All fruit is allowed to drop. Harvesting by mechanical sweeper. Harvest proceeds from September through December. Harvested apples are sorted on-site by orchard and (where applicable) type, allowing at-press blending by varietal and/or fruit classification.

Fruit processing: At-press blending generally used, with target pH of 3.7 or lower. Peak processing uses 250 tonnes apples/day. Milling and pressing takes place at ambient (indoor) temperatures ranging from 5 to 20º C. Shredder-style mill. Pomace fed into one of two piston-style presses, sized at 3-tonne and 5-tonne. Joseph reports 75% yield, each press cycle takes between one and 1.5 hours to complete. No maceration procedures per se.

Juice preparation: Juice cooled to 10º C prior to intake. Uses PME (Pectin Esterase Enzymes) and calcium chloride, former added per manufacturer instructions at 1L/300 HL, added to tank approximately 24 hours after tank fill without deliberate stirring or blending. 5 mg/l SO2 added for nominal microbal control.

Keeve process: Naturally-occurring yeast for all fermentation with yeast metabolics used to raise cap. Cap lift and development are tracked with aid of translucent tanks.

Fermentation process: Fermentation occurs at target 10º C. Slow fermentation pace  maintained as required using racking and centrifuge filtering. Cross-flow filtering seen as too complete for stage filtering, reserved for final filter cycle.

Maturation/Conditioning: Completed cider packaged with large monoblock carbonation/bottling machines. 75º C/20’ in-bottle pasteurization cycle used for finished product (30 PU). Bottles are stored on-site in ambient temperatures for aging/conditioning prior to labeling and sale.

Keeving trick: Avoid this stuff.

Keeving trick: Avoid this stuff.

Additional Notes:

  • Orcharding and production practices conforming to Cornouaille AOC.

  • Château de Lézergué produces approximately 200 KL cider per year, or between 2-3 million bottles).