Bland’s cider and Calvados farm is in Pays d’Auge, Normandy. On the southern facing slopes of the “Valley of Life”, bordering the world famous parish of Camembert and right next to the reknowned City of Calvados, Vimoutiers, our ancient Knights Templars Seigneurie farmhouse is surrounded by 45 acres of “appellation contrôlée” cider orchards and meadows in a land where cider and it’s derivatives have been made for over 2000 years. First by the Celts, then the ancient monks of Vimoutiers and in the time of King Charlemagne and onwards.
French royalty often took a close interest in the development of cider in our area and drank it on a daily basis. After the french revolution in 1789 the new government gave the name of Calvados to our part of Normandy because of the fame of this apple brandy spirit that was so well known in Paris and northern France generally.
Our farm is traditionally held to be exceptional for cider and Calvados (apple brandy). All our apple trees are varieties especially recommended for this internationally known “terroir” of cider and Calvados production, that surrounds our town of Vimoutiers. Adam and Anne Bland acquired this farm in 1991. Adam and his father were well-known cidermakers in the Severn Vale, Gloucestershire, before moving to the department of Calvados, in Pays D’auge, Normandy.
We have some wonderful varieties of cider apples including late ripening ones that we press around Christmastime. All our cider is keeved with the natural apple yeasts and then slowly fermented throughout the winter months. It is bottled in the Spring when a small, secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle to give a naturally sparkling cider. No sugar is added, the sweetness from the apples themselves determine the dry, medium or sweet taste of our cider.
All our orchards are untreated and abound in insects, birds, wildlife and wildflowers.
We distill some of our fine farm cider to make Calvados on our farm which we mature in Normandy oak barrels produced by a local cooper. Our Calvados is produced at 45 degrees proof, the higher and more traditional alcoholic strength necessary for the full enhancement of it’s rich and distinctive aromatic flavour.