La Chouette - The French Cider
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About “Cidre”

Quite a long story. . .

Cider is an ancient beverage whose origin is hard to define as it became a traditional drink in several European countries. Nowadays in France, cider (or “cidre”) is mostly produced in Normandy and Brittany, although other regions – such as the Basque Country, Savoie or Champagne region – also have a long tradition of cider making.
French cider distinguishes itself from other ciders by the use of specific apple varieties and a particularly strict making process.

The story of French cider

1st century BC

The Greek geographer Strabo mentions the profusion of apple trees in Gaul and first describes a beverage similar to cider.

> Vercingetorix, Gallic chieftain

9th century

Charlemagne who is susceptible to the refreshing properties of cider, orders the planting of several varieties of apple trees in his empire to make pommé (pomacium).

> Portrait of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor

1066

William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, conquers England, and contributes to the development of cider making in Great Britain.

> Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings

13th century

The invention of the press greatly facilitates the cider making process.

> Illustration of a press

1589

Dr Julien Le Paulmier, personal doctor to King Henry III of France, is the first to put forward the health benefits of cider in his “Traité du Vin et du Cidre”.

> French advertising poster from the late 1930s highlighting the health benefits of drinking cider

Early 20th century

“Cidre” is the 2nd most consumed drink in France, just behind wine. However, the destruction of many apple trees during World War II leads to a substantial decline in French cider production.

> American soldiers drinking French cider in Normandy after the landings (summer 1944)

Since the early 2000s

 

French people drink as much “cidre” as champagne. French cider, well-known for its quality and unique savoir-faire, is being exported to Europe and beyond.

La Chouette, a true "cidre" ambassador

French regulations impose strict specifications on French cider making, which makes “cidre” a unique beverage in the cider world:

Apple selection

French cider

Unlike many ciders, which are made from “table apples”, French cider is traditionally made from dedicated apple varieties, called “cider apples”, which gives it this unique taste.

la chouette

La Chouette is crafted from various cider apple varieties, which can be sweet, bittersweet, sharp or bittersharp.

Making process

In most countries, reconstituted juice from apple concentrate may represent up to 100% of the total volume of a given cider. In France, the use of juice from concentrate is strictly limited to 50% of the total volume, which helps preserve the natural aromas of apples.

La Chouette is a pure apple juice cider and therefore is not made from reconstituted apple juice.

Sugar content

Many ciders contain added sugars as flavour enhancers. French regulations strictly limit the use of added sugars to prevent excesses.

La Chouette contains no added sugar, only the natural sugar from apples.

The French Cider