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The Cotentin peninsula, where Maison Hérout is located, produces some of the driest and most complex ciders made anywhere in France. Cotentin dry or extra-dry cider is a natural accompaniment to seafood, which is so abundant here because you are never far from the sea.
Here on the Cotentin peninsula you are surrounded by endless bluffs and white sand beaches, plentiful oyster and mussel farms, lush apple orchards and the beautiful bocage - a system of hedgerows that defines the inland landscape as far as you can see and discreetly conceals old castles and chateaus from curious passers-by.
The Hérout family tree goes back to the Vikings, who settled in this area around the ninth and tenth centuries. In fact many of the village names in the Cotentin still bear the Norse roots from these original Viking inhabitants, beautiful villages like Briquebec, and Quettetot.
The Cotentin was also home to Louis XIV’s summer court, located in the charming town of Valognes. When Versailles became unbearably hot in the summertime, Louis XIV would move his entire court to beautiful Valognes townhouses to relax in the cooler, more subdued atmosphere of the Cotentin bocages.
Cider has been a part of the Hérout family for almost a century.
The Hérout family farm estate, where Maison Hérout cider is produced, is located in the heart of the Cotentin Peninsula near the town of Auvers. The apples in this region thrive in its lush and oceanic climate. The Hérout family began producing cider in the 1940s on their farm in Auvers, Normandy, which is in the AOC Calvados area. As they progressed in their craft of cider-making and became renowned in the region, they turned next to making all their products organically certified. Since then, their daughter, Marie-Agnès, has taken over the farm and remains true to her family cider-making heritage by producing some of the finest ciders available from this region. She also continues the family tradition of planting apple trees for future generations. Since 2000, Marie-Agnès has led the Syndicat de Promotion du Cidre du Cotentin to earn the region’s certification for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Cotentin status. In May of 2016, after 16 years of hard work and perseverance, her region was awarded the label AOC Cidre Cotentin.
Cotentin Cidre AOC is organic, unpasteurized and contains apple varieties rich in tannins. The cider is typically a golden straw color with a slight orange hue, and is characteristically dry or very dry. The terroir of the Cotentin imparts a taste that is supple and robust on the palate with a slightly bitter-sweet flavor. The Cotentin Cidres AOC provide an excellent accompaniment to all seafood dishes - especially oysters -, hearty dishes, dishes with cream-based sauces and strong-flavored cheeses.The Cotentin is part of the Amorican Massif – a large land mass of granite and chalk bluffs reaching up out of the ocean toward England. This land is ideal for growing the Cotentin amere apples, which are necessary for creating the trademark complexity of Cotentin cider. In fact, the Cotentin has always played an important role in the development of cider in Normandy and is considered the cradle of many cider apple varieties that flourish due to its lush land and oceanic climate. Bitter (amere) and bitter-sweet (doux-amere) local varieties of apples are used to make Cotentin cider.
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The Maison Herout AOC Cotentin Grand Cuvée Extra-Brut Cidre 2020 750ml bottles. 5.5% alc/vol.
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