25 yr old father to son transition company
10 hectares of M106 orchards
20 main varieties
Buys in local fruit
Uses no acid fruit
Common to grow the local powerful varieties and buy in more general fruit (70 varieties known locally)
10 tons of apple/hectare with no management and 20-25 with management
Intensive cultivation will produce 65 tons/hectare, though there is a clear perception that high density does not produce good flavored apples /cider
200,000 btls cider /yr (AOC)
2000 btls Lambig /yr
6000 btls Pommeau (AOC)
Notes on the region and the orchard:
The soil is shallow so the trees are a bit smaller, and there is not much nitrogen in the soil.
Pruning for light air flow purposes
Sprays copper sulfate and magnesium, for scab and bacterial control
Very high acid soil so each 3 yrs add Lime to raise the pH
Makes use of the communal weather station to time sprays
All mechanized from sept to November
Apples stored in apple bins 2 weeks to sweat (if hand picked)
Machine harvested fruit is presses the next day
Apples are piled in 4 variety groups
Wash, sort, grind
Macerate in a tank for 1-2 hours sometimes overnight! To calm the tannins and only with low overnight temps.
Maceration is judged by total browning of pomace.
Pressing for 2 hours in a large bladder press (slow clear extraction)
Pump into 10,000 L tanks at 8-10 degrees C.
Add PME at pump in
When tank is full (2 days of pressing) add CaCl and pump cycle to blend for 1 hour.
The Brown hat cometh:
2-3 days after CaCl the hat forms and between 5 and 12 days to be completely formed.
When hat is big and strong they will rack of the clear juice underneath.
5g/hL SO2 as juice fills tank and 5g/hL more when tank is full then 3 more g at bottling
As yeast blooms cider is repeatedly racked to maintain a rate of S.G. 1.002 / week
All at 8-10 degrees- if rate is too high then will use filter to reduce yeast population
Usually stabilizes at 1.030
Crossflows at 1.028 and pitches commercial yeast for bottle conditioning
Then we went to meet the Mayor.