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Calvados - An Apple Brandy from Normandy

Calvados is the renowned apple brandy from the region of the same name in Lower Normandy.

The Romans are supposed to have discovered the original inhabitants drinking a potent form of cider made from apples but, as with many other alcoholic drinks around Europe, it took monks to formalise the process of planting the crop and distilling the resultant cider to come up with a consistent alcoholic end-product that we would recognise as a forerunner of Calvados.

Calvados Brandy from Normandy

The current Calvados 'taste' is also attributed to Spanish varieties of apple that were introduced to the area in the 16th century. Calvados was always a local's drink, but it became popular in other parts of France (much in the same way as the local cheeses) when the expansion of rail links made it affordable to send goods through to Paris.

Nowadays there are three different varieties which have 'protected area' status (meaning that they are allowed to call themselves Calvados) the first of which was established in the 1940s:

  • Calvados
    This is the largest of the appellation contrôlée areas, including a section of Upper Normandy as well, and most of the production originates from this region. Calvados from here must be aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels and the style of distillation is not prescribed.
  • Calvados Pays d'Auge
    This is the oldest and most traditional of the areas. Calvados from this region tends to be produced on a smaller scale often without the addition of caramel and other additives. The brandy must be from fermented cider, double distilled in a batch process from a pot still and aged for at least two years in oak barrels.
  • Calvados Domfrontais
    This Calvados, the newest of the appellations, includes at least 30% of pears, which are more common on the different ground in the area, and via single distillation and a minimum of three years in oak barrels .

Like normal brandy, the different varieties of Calvados have different grades (for example: Fine, VSOP or XO) which indicate how long a brandy has been aged.


Calvados BoulardCalvados Boulard
Ancien Moulin de la Foulonnerie
14 130 Coquainvilliers
Tel.: 02 31 48 24 00
Calvados DrouinCalvados Coeur de Lion
RD 677 Pont l'Evêque-Deauville
14130 Coudray-Rabut
Tel.: 02 31 64 30 05
Calvados Roger GroultCalvados Roger Groult
Clos de la Hurvanière
Route des Calvados
14290 Saint-Cyr du Ronceray
Tel.: 02 31 63 71 53
Calvados Pierre HuetCalvados Pierre Huet
Manoir La Brière des Fontaines
5, Avenue des Tilleuls
14340 Cambremer
Tel.: 02 31 63 01 09
Calvados LecompteCalvados Lecompte
Route de Manerbe
14130 Coquainvilliers
Tel.: 02 31 48 24 07
Calvados Père MagloireCalvados Père Magloire
1 Route de Trouville
14130 Pont l'Evêque
Tel.: 02 31 64 12 87
Calvados MorinCalvados Morin
10 Rue d'Ezy
27540 Ivry La Bataille
Tel.: 02 32 36 40 01
Calvados La RibaudeCalvados La Ribaude
Distillerie du Houley
14590 Ouilly du Houley
Tel.: 02 31 63 63 46
Château du BreuilChâteau du Breuil
Château du Breuil
14130 Le Breuil en Auge
Tel.: 02 31 65 60 00
Distillerie BusnelDistillerie Busnel
Route de Lisieux
27260 Cormeilles
Tel.: 02 32 57 38 80
Domaine DupontDomaine Dupont
La Vigannerie
14430 Victot-Pontfol
Tel.: 02 31 63 24 24
La Domaine de la FlaguerieLa Domaine de la Flaguerie
Rue du lieu Moussard
14250 Ducy Ste Marguerite
Tel.: 02 31 80 28 65
La Ferme de la Croix SolierLa Ferme de la Croix Solier
Chemin du Solier
14800 Tourgeville
Tel.: 02 31 98 14 50
La Ferme du LavoirLa Ferme du Lavoir
Ferme du Lavoir
14710 Formigny
Tel.: 02 31 22 56 89
Manoir d'AprevalManoir d'Apreval
14600 Honfleur
Tel.: 02 31 14 88 24