- 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.