Since the 1800s, the Camut family has grown 115 acres of apple trees in the Pays d'Auge, the finest growing region for Calvados. In Normandy, 800 types of apples are grown; the Camut family grow about 25 of these, all of which are hand-harvested at optimum maturity between October and mid-December. While pears are allowed in Calvados (actually mandatory in the Domfrontais region with a minimum of 30%), only apples grown on the Camut property are used in Camut Calvados.
Cider is made from these apples and rests in oak barrels for ten or eleven months. In September, the cider is double-distilled with two of the property's wood-fueled stills, one of which is 75 years old. It enters the barrels at 126 proof, then is reduced by about 20 proof. During the first two years, the Calvados is frequently transferred between barrels in an effort to promote oxidation. No new barrels are used; most have their origin in Limousin and average 50 years of age.
For its third birthday, the Calvados is placed in large wooden vats or foudre. These are always kept between 2/3 and 3/4 full which allows for a constant exchange of oxygen and gradual reduction and concentration of the apple brandy. The blends are as natural as possible: Time alone has mellowed these rich, lush spirits.
Pommeau de Semainville
Pommeau is the Normand equivalent of Pineau des Charentes. Unlike Pineau which is made with 2/3 grape must (unclairified juice) and a third cognac, Pommeau is made with 2/3 apple must and a 1/3 Calvados (in this case, 4 years old). 2001 was the first year that Camut released an Aperitif Normand.
Typically Pommeau is served as an aperitif, but with its baked apple, smoke, licorice and toffee notes, it is also an excellent accompaniment to apple, nut or caramel- based desserts. At 17% alcohol (34 proof), one does not have to think twice about having it as an after-dinner drink. Camut's Pommeau is made with juice from 25 different types of apples, all of which are grown in the family's orchards.