Producer: Emile Mahieu and Alain Pismont
In the village of Bricquebosq on the Contentin Peninsula of Normandy, cider production grew in prominence during the 13th century due to a prohibition of fermented drinks using grains as well as dramatically increased taxation on wine. From then on the production of cider only increased in Normandy, eclipsing the market for wine or spirits.
In the 1920s, Le Père Mahieu was established and started producing their own ciders for local consumption, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that Emile and Jocelyn Mahieu modernized their manufacturing process and planted new orchards to expand their cider production for export out of the immediate area. In 2006, Alain Pismont took over the direction of the ciderie, converting all the orchards to organic production and focusing solely on creating the highest possible quality ciders.
Le Père Mahieu is deeply committed creating their ciders in the most natural way possible. Instead of spraying their orchards with pesticides and herbicides, they cultivate the many different species of local insects and birds that keep the apple trees safe from any harmful predators or weather damage. By monitoring the insect and bird population Le Père Mahieu can take measures to counteract any over-population or under-population that would cause imbalance to the ecosystem.
To maintain the organic nature of their ciders, the ciderie refrains from adding any sulfites or yeasts during fermentation or bottling, preserving the balance of sugars and acidity. Utilizing the many years of knowledge passed down from their ancestors, Emile Mahieu excels in making a truly natural and traditional cider.
Alain Pismont of le Père Mahieu explains the organic techniques used in their orchards. (French)