We ship ciders to WA, ID, CA, NV, DC and FL.

Want to ship our Cider and Spirits to the rest of the country? Click here

Meet the Producer: Pierre-Henri Agnes of La Chouette Cidre

by Joan Kitterman April 12, 2018

Meet the Producer:  Pierre-Henri Agnes of La Chouette Cidre

Pierre-Henri Agnes (shown on the right) returned to his roots in the Mont-Saint-Michel region of Normandy to take up the cider-making craft started by his grandfather.  The story goes that during the apple-pressing and cider fermentation, a small owl (a chouette in French) would arrive in his grandfather's barn and remain there all winter watching the production from its perch high in the rafters of the barn.  Seen as a good omen, Pierre-Henri named his cider after the small owl. Together with his business partner, Alex Riteau (shown on the left), he started producing La Chouette Original Cidre about 5 years ago and has just released their second cider, La Chouette Rosé.

How long did it take to develop the La Chouette Rosé cider

One year and a half, about 10 different recipes and several labeling tests as well.

Did it take a lot of trial and error to find just the right recipe?

The challenge was to find the right balance between sweetness and sourness. Pears and red-fleshed apples bring acidity, while other apples bring natural sweetness.

Why do you think Americans will like the rosé cider? 

The packaging is quite appealing, but above all, it is a very refreshing cider with a unique taste.

Tell us about the image of the flying owl.  Why did you choose it?

We wanted to come up with something more modern and funky for our rosé cider, and thought about drawing the body of the owl as paint spots, reminiscent of contemporary art, to clearly differentiate it from our more traditional La Chouette Original (even though cider is a centuries-old beverage in France, rosé cider is still quite new – less than ten years).

How should we drink the rose?

As an apéritif!

What do you enjoy most about producing cider?

Every harvest is different from one season to another and we have to blend differently apple juices to be able to "recreate" the recipe of La Chouette.

Thinking of cider, what is your favorite time of year and why?

The spring when the apple trees flower. It is lovely with all these small white flowers.

Your family has been involved in cidre making for generations, but what made you decide you wanted to follow that path too?

Actually my grandfather was a cider maker but none of his children followed that path. I was the one who wanted to go back to this tradition. I guess it is because I was raised with cidre and nothing is more interesting than working for something you have a passion for.

Do you have a special batch of cider, poiré, or Calvados that you make just for you and your family?

I have a special batch of Calvados my grandfather did several years ago. I keep those bottles secretly as they are really valuable to me.

What is the one thing you want Americans to know about your cider?

Just as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhone, and Alsace are French regions which have a long tradition of wine making, Normandy (and Bretagne) have a worldwide tradition of fermenting and distilling pommes à cidre (cidre apples) and poires à poiré (cidre pears) from their terroir to produce those fine beverages.  

What do you tell someone who is trying French cider for the very first time?

In France, we have a very long tradition of cider making. But our cidre is usually a pure apple juice cider (no concentrate, no flavouring, no colouring) and we only use dedicated cider apple varieties, which bring diversity and complexity to our numerous kinds of cidre.

Describe for someone who is tasting French cider for the first time, what it tastes like.

It is a surprising sparkling apple juice with much more body. And even though it is easy drinking, it still has much alcohol as a beer.

Why should Americans like French cider?

It is back to basics!

What food does your cider go well with?

You can drink it anytime as an apéritif without pairing it with food.  Try it with your favorite casual meal.  It also goes with desserts and pastries.


Joan Kitterman
Joan Kitterman


Also in Blog

The Brandy Drinker - may not be who you think.
The Brandy Drinker - may not be who you think.

by Calin Benson November 02, 2021

Continue Reading

Your Guide for the Perfect Summer Picnic
Your Guide for the Perfect Summer Picnic

by Calin Benson August 04, 2021

Pack your picnic with French Cider. Whether you’re on a city rooftop, lounging in the park, or watching the sunset from the water our products pair perfectly to elevate any picnic setting.  


Continue Reading

Calvados Brandy – Transform your Cocktails with a Twist on Tradition
Calvados Brandy – Transform your Cocktails with a Twist on Tradition

by Joan Kitterman January 19, 2021

Continue Reading