Normandie / Bretagne

Le Val de la Chevre

The father of Regis Tropée took over the Val de la Chevre farm in 1969 with a small orchard, 4 cows and a tractor. The farm continued to expand with the traditional mix of orchards and cows and Regis took over in 1997. The farm is located on the outskirts of Rennes in Brittany in the area called Pays de Rennes. Le Val de la Chevre is a certified organic farm and Regis has a small parcel of the trees dating back to 1945 but he claims that the apples are inconveniently early ripening and not his favorite variety. In 2005 Regis reduced his property size, ending his activity with cows and turned his full attention to cider production. His orchards are all planted with wide spaced standard trees in pasture. He has just recently introduced some Shropshire sheep to help with the “lawn mowing”. During the cider making process Regis avoids using sulphur as much as possible and employs instead CO2 and vigilantly guards against oxidation. He is among the very few (I know of no one else) who continues to pick the apples from the ground by hand.

Gregoire Ferré left his familial farm in 2009 and crossed the valley in the Perche part of Normandy to purchase 60 hectares. This farm has 24 hectares of orchards both apples and pears, 30 hectares of cereals and the rest pastureland for cattle. His father continues to look after the dairy cows on the old family farm across the valley. The previous owner of Gregoire’s farm produced calvados but not cider, which Gregoire began in 2010. Although not certified organic, Gregoire Ferré farms without the use of chemicals.

Gregoire also produces a calvados, more information is available here: La Maison Ferré (Calvados)

The Aubry family has farmed in the “lieu dit” La Loterie since 1936. It is located in the “Suisse Normande” so named for its hilly terrain. Maybe after enough Calvados they look like the alps. Until 1997 the farm’s activity centered around cows, but Regis decided then to leave that behind in favor of planting an orchard with 16 hectares of apple trees and 4 hectares of pear trees. Regis built his ciderie a year later in 1998 and installed excellent modern equipment with which he could carry out his quality work. Cave de la Loterie is a certified organic farm and Regis grows 30 varieties of apples falling into the categories of bitter, bittersweet, sweet and tart.

The Desfrieches have farmed in the Vallée de la Touques, part of the Pays D’Auge in Normandy, for four generations with the traditional mix of orchards and cows. Today, it is Fabrice and his son Alexandre who manage their 19 hectares of orchards, mostly apples, including some 100+ year old trees, and some pear trees. They have always made calvados but started producing cider, which is Alexandre’s responsibility, only in 2006. Although not certified organic, the Desfrieches farm traditionally, favoring biodiversity, and do so without the use of chemicals.