When Benoit Lesuffleur told his parents he wanted to start using some of the family apple orchards to make cider they told him he was crazy. When he asked again, they just flat-out said no.
The Lesuffleurs have been growing apples in Normandy for generations but for the past fifty years they have been selling all of their fruit to large cider houses. Fun fact: the Lesuffleur family’s cider was drank by Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Normandy!
Still, Benoit’s parents probably envisioned a more cosmopolitan life for him. They sent him off to university in Paris, where he still lives during the week and works as a Champagne broker. His experience with Champagne production sparked an idea: why not create a hard cider, using the same methodology and finesse as Champagne?
Benoit now has a couple vintages of experience and is slowly taking on some of the best apple orchards on his family’s property. He is using a wide range of heritage apples and creating vinous blends that balance sweet, bitter, and tannic varieties. (Not bad for a weekend warrior!)
You can find his 2017 vintage of his “La Folletiere” sparkling cider at the shop. If I may say so myself, it’s the perfect Thanksgiving aperitif.