Manufacturing cider in Kervéguen is a family story. My fathers grandfather already delivered during the Second World War, besides his work on the farm, barreled cider to the Breton coffee bars.
Later Jean, my father, continued the work. Still for own consumption, because for each countryman who took lunch and dinner on the farm 4 to 5 bottles of cider were needed. During times of harvest consumption was three times as much!
Today, for ten years now, I have retained the basic procedure and changed only a little in order that I do not have to work like in stone age.The barrels are still there and this is really unique in France nowadays, because tanks of steel have been installed almost everywhere in the Brittany and elsewhere.
The apples (sour, sweet-sour or sourish) are still harvested by hand. In autumn they ripen, protected, another 1 to 3 months.
In the beginning of winter we grind them, press them in layers between tiers of sisal. The extracted must (the first applejuice) remains about 10 days in the tanks so that all impurities (pectins, nitrogenous particles) can depose on the bottom and the now clear juice can ferment 3 to 6 months in oak barrels.
This lively environment gives our juice a slightly wooden note with a vanilla flavour. The fermentation stabilized after 2 to 3 rackings or slight filtrations, in order to eliminate most of the yeast, that is responsible for the alcoholic fermentation.
After really having cared for the juice up to this stade, the mixtures of a combination of different apple brands (sour apples, sweet-sour apples and sweet apples) become our four cider brands depending on their content of fructose (upmarket sweet cider “Carpe Diem”, semi-dry cider, dry cider and the extra-dry “Cuvée du paysan” for aficionados, a cider manufactured like in former times on the farms.