www.kerveguen.fr

Eric took over from his father in 1993, bringing his technical knowledge but keeping the traditional ancestral aspect of his cidrerie alive. Aged in oak casks, pressed with a “champagne press”, dried naturally for 3 months before press – many reasons why his organic cider is poured at the French Presidential table since 1997.

At Domaine de Kerveguen, they come through every tree of the 7ha every 3 days to pick the freshly fallen apples, at the perfect maturity and in perfect condition. In order to avoid rottenness to develop, before apple season Eric cuts the grass very short, so that when apples fall they stay dry and not enveloped by wet grass. Then the apples are cleaned out with fresh running water. The idea here is to put out the leaves, insects, mud and everything other than the fruit. Once cleaned, he stacks them in big square open wood cases (1.5m X 1.5m) and gets those wood cases to his barn (it is an open barn with natural ventilation). They stay there between 6 weeks for the Brut and 12 weeks for the Carpe Diem.

Most people (if not 99%) work differently: they first go in the orchard and shake the trees to get all of the remaining apples on the tree to fall. Then they come in with a machine and pick everything off the ground at once. This means that they will have unripe apples that they forced to fall and overripe apples that have stayed in the grass for days and started to rot. They usually clean the apples and get them crushed right away. They could leave them in a dry ventilated place for one or two weeks before crushing (2.99%).

At Domaine de Kerveguen, every “kind” of apple is stacked separately as they evolve differently. The goals of the apple aging are: concentration of the aromas and of the natural sugar, maturity (your fruit will get to an optimal maturity if you keep it a few days/weeks ), reduction of the water level in the fruit, richer, deeper, more evolved flavors.

Once the time of maturity is over, Eric brings the apples to be crushed. First, he implements a machine that cuts the apples up in small pieces like fries. This helps with the pressing and the extraction of the juice. He uses an old vertical press on a screw, the kind of press that was used in Champagne 30 – 40 years ago. The juice runs out of the press and goes into a tank. In this tank there will be a natural clarification during fermentation. In ciders, during fermentation, the residual solid pieces (pulp, seeds and skin) come up and form what they call a “brown hat”. This brown hat is quite important as it protects the juice from oxidation. Once the fermentation has begun (natural yeast from his fruit) and the clarification is fine enough (meaning the brown hat is big enough), he gets the juice running to the bottom of the tank (the brown hat beeing at the upper level) to the oak barrels. Eric always looks for 3-4 year old used neutral white wine barrels. Usually he likes to get them in Burgundy. In barrel, the alcoholic fermentation happens naturally. As his cellar is not temperature controlled, fermentation process could take a few months (if it’s cold). But this is what he is looking for: a smooth and long fermentation to develop the purest aromas. Once he decides that the barrel time is over (between 4 to 8 month), he bottles the juice for the second fermentation to take action. This is not the end of a second fermentation but the end of his fermentation. He does not add anything but just a “hint” of sulfite. As the yeasts are still alive and there is still some sugar to eat, fermentation keeps going in a closed bottle which creates the carbonation, just as in cremant or champagne but here it is all natural (no sugar /yeast added). The second fermentation stops naturally as the yeast dies. There is no “dégorgement” in cider. The yeasts are still in the bottle which could make a unique variation of “sparkling” from one bottle to another.

The Carpe Diem remains sweet as the yeast dies since at the beginning of the process there is such a sugar concentration that it could not eat all of it. You find similar situation in Essencia in Tokaj where they barely get to 5 – 6% alcohol.

 

 

Cidre à L'Ancienne Brut

APPLE VARIETIES: Marie ménard, Douce coet ligné, Douce moen

ALCOHOL: 6%

NO SUGAR ADDED

NO PASTEURIZATION

NATURAL CARBONATION (2nd fermentation in bottle)

TASTING NOTES: amber golden color, the brut develops aromas of matured apples with notes of cigar and caramel. The aging in oak cask brings vanilla and spices. A lot of complexity and a very refined traditional cider.

Apples are aged for 1.5 months in a dry room. They are crushed first and then pressed in a vertical press (from champagne). Alcoholic fermentation in oak casks lasts 4 to 8 months with only natural yeast. This is a long and fine process. Eric does 2 to 3 rakings during the fermentation process. A very light filtration is done before bottling. After bottling, the second fermentation (prise de mousse) takes 6 to 8 weeks.

Cidre à L'Ancienne Carpe Diem Prestige

APPLE VARIETIES: Marie ménard, Fréquin rouge, Peau de chien, Douce coet ligné, Douce moen

ALCOHOL: 3%

NO SUGAR ADDED

NO PASTEURIZATION

NATURAL CARBONATION (2nd fermentation in bottle)

TASTING NOTES: beautiful bright orange golden color, Carpe Diem cuvee from Domaine de Kerveguen develops some aromas of sweet apples, apple skins and wood. The aging in oak cask brings complexity and tannins to this very serious cider. Excellent sweet tannic cider.

Apples are aged 3 months is a dry room. They are crushed first and then pressed in a vertical press (from champagne). Alcoholic fermentation in oak casks lasts 4 to 8 months with only natural yeast. This is a long and fine process.
Eric does 2 to 3 rakings during the fermentation process. A very light filtration is done before bottling. After bottling, the second fermentation (prise de mousse) takes 6 to 8 weeks.