Calvados | Apple Brandy
Calvados is an apple brandy unique to the Lower Normandy region of France. The production of Calvados is strictly regulated and governed by an 'Appellation Contrôlée' (AOC) system that defines the areas where Calvados can be produced; the apple varieties permitted for use; the type of pressing and fermentation; and the distillation and the maturation methods.
Apples selected for distillation into Calvados fall into over 200 specially-grown varieties and several varieties may be used to make one brand of Calvados. Once the apples are harvested they are pressed into a juice and fermented into a dry cider. This is then distilled into an 'eau-de-vie', which is in turn blended and matured for a minimum of two-years in casks. The longer the maturation, the more mellow the final product. Usually the maturation for Calvados goes on for several years and often it is sold much older, typically at 6, 8, 12, 15 or 25 years.