The history of this family distillery begins in the 19th century at “Clos de la Hurvanière”, a farm located in the heights of the Pays d'Auge, in St Cyr du Ronceray. The production of apples and cider were already a traditional there, as on most Norman farms for several centuries. In 1860, Pierre Groult (1830-1918) began to distill his cider in order to produce his own brandy : Calvados Groult was born. Thanks to his meticulous production methods as well as the magnificent terroir which was offered to him, his Calvados quickly obtained a good reputation. He won his first gold medal in 1893.
Pierre Groult 's son Leon (1874-1923) developed the production by planting orchards, building a second aging cellar, and setting up two of the three pot stills still use today. He was unfortunately part of the generation sacrificed to the First World War, his serious injuries received at the end of the conflict did not allow him to develop the distribution of his Calvados.
Thanks to the work carried out and the stocks built up by his father and his grandfather, Roger Groult (1905-1988) was able to develop the sales of Calvados after the Second World War. In 1952, he enlarged the distillery and built a large aging cellar where oak barrels of over 12,000 liters are still housed. He gave his letters of nobility to his brandy, and made his name a brand.
Roger Groult's son Jean-Pierre (1946-2008) extended the distribution of his Calvados throughout France, and was a pioneer in exporting his spirits abroad. In order to meet this new international demand, he gradually increased the production of cider apples by planting new orchards, as well as the stock of Calvados by building the two largest cellars of the domain.
Finally, family traditions are perpetuated because today his children Estelle, Charlotte and Jean-Roger manage the distillery. While maintaining certain ancestral production methods (double distillation over a wood fire, perpetual blends), they develop international distribution (our Calvados are present today in 38 countries) and modernizes the product range by creating original cuvees (vintages, "cask finish").
|Calvados Pays d'Auge
|Estelle, Charlotte and Jean-Roger Groult
|Estelle, Charlotte and Jean-Roger Groult
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
SAVOIR-FAIRE - NATURAL AND ARTISANAL METHODS OF PRODUCTION
The 27 hectares of orchards (soils rich in silt, flint and clay) are planted with more than 6,000 apple trees (15 hectares of “high stem” apple trees, 12 of “low stem”).
Among the 30 varieties of cider apples used, the most common are: Antoinette, Frequin Rouge, Bisquet, Moulin à Vent (bitter and bittersweet apples, 70% of the production), Bedan, Noël des Champs (sweet apples, 20%), Rambaud, Petit jaune (acid apples, 10%).
All the apples are sorted by hand and washed before brewing which takes place from October to December. Between 400 and 600 tons of apples are brewed each year; the average yield is 650 liters of cider per ton of apples.
The ciders naturally ferment for several months on fine lees until they reach an alcohol content of between 5 and 7%vol. They are then distilled.
The three small stills of this distillery are very old and still warmed with wood fire, which guarantees an authentic and meticulous production of the Calvados. These are "pot stills" for double distillation, which is the only method for the controlled appellation Calvados Pays d'Auge.
The first distillation (distillation of cider) produces “petite-eau”, an alcohol of about 30% vol. The second distillation, the "good heating" (distillation of the petite-eau) produces Calvados which comes out the stills on average at 70%vol.
In both cases, the heads (alcohols produced at the beginning of distillation, very volatile) and the tales (end of distillation alcohols, heavier and fatty) are isolated in order to keep only the heating core, the best of the distillation, to produce Calvados.
CALVADOS AGING IN OAK CASKS
Coming out of the stills, Calvados will begin its aging cycle. The blending methods are the result of the work of five generations who have brought their personal touches over time. Nearly 400 French oak barrels and casks (from 100 liters to over 13,000 liters) are housed in our aging cellars.
The perpetual blend
For the traditional range of Calvados, they have historically used the "perpetual" (or "solera") blending method: their barrels are never replaced nor completely emptied, in order to keep a base of very old Calvados for each cuvée. The age mentioned on the label corresponds to the youngest vintage in the blend.
We regularly transfer Calvados from one barrel to another, which develop ventilation and oxidation of these spirits. This aging method as well as the use of very old barrels (low in tannins) allows Roger Groult to produce very fine and fruity Calvados.
Vintages and "cask finish"
For a few years now, they also bottle original Calvados which have not followed their traditional cycle of perpetual blend: single cask vintage Calvados, as well as "cask finish" in barrels of whisky, sweet jurançon and sherry in particular. These cuvées bring very new aromas to their range of products.
Bottling is done at the estate, without chill filtration in order to preserve the maximum of aromas and texture in our Calvados.