Cider apples for naturally good juices

apple trees, orchards

La Ferme de Billy produces its own cider apples. Today it has 22 hectares of orchards with 15,000 trees combining so-called “basse-tiges” and “haute-tiges” apple trees. All are in compliance with the AOC-AOP du Pommeau and Calvados de Normandie quality standards.

The haute-tiges – The Epinal image of the traditional Normandy orchard. A meadow, spread out trees, high enough to allow animals to graze. At La Ferme de Billy you will mainly find them at the side of the Chapel. A peaceful setting full of the charms of the countryside, where once cows and horses grazed. Today you will be able to appreciate our 4 pretty donkeys.

The low or basse-tiges trees – Smaller trees, with a shorter trunk, planted in tighter rows. At Billy’s Farm they are found on the land on either side of the farmhouse, so as they can take advantage of the different quality land giving a greater diversity of varieties.


the taste of apple… for cider

As with wine, the choice of apple varieties and their blending are key in the making of cider. Each one has its own style and our job is to know how to blend them to build an original aromatic signature, just for us! A skilful blend which has been rewarded many times over.

At La Ferme de Billy there are no less than 14 varieties of apples, each with its own speciality and all adapted to the terroir of the Caen plain:

Sweet apples. The Douce Coëtligné and Clos Renaux apples are rich in natural sugars.
Bittersweet apples. The Douce Moën, Binet rouge, Peau de Chien, Bedan, are essential in the making of ciders, because of their sweet and tannic notes.
Bitter apples. The Judaine, Judeline and Juliana bring a lot of freshness.
Sour apples. The Petit jaune, Locard vert, Judor and Avrolles bring tonicity.

Normandy, a distinct terroir

We are passionate at La Ferme de Billy! For more than 30 years now, we have been committed to a responsible way of agriclture helping with: the preservation of the natural environment, the diversity of species produced and the use of local apple varieties.

Since 1983, and every 2 years or so, the orchards have been rejuvenated. Trees at the end of their life are uprooted to replant new, more vigorous ones. New plots of land are planted to provide the estate with new trees and therefore help perpetuate a local “made in Normandy” production “.

Varieties adapted to the terroir and to a truly Normandy climate! The estate has land of various qualities and expressions. Calcareous soils resulting in a land that retains little water. So many natural hazards which limit the growth of the trees which only produce small fruits. This means a higher skin/pulp ratio, and therefore more natural sugars and tannins for stronger intensity taste – with averages often higher than the rest of the cider production elsewhere.

cider, a sustainable cultivation

At La Ferme de Billy, we go for quality of the fruit rather than its quantity. Yields are controlled in relation to the quantities harvested. And with a fruit size that remains naturally modest.

Attentive to the sustainable development of our crops and to health and environmental issues, we work towards sustainable cultivation, respecting our environment and the specifications of the AOP-AOC of Normandy quality standards.

We work on a daily basis to find responsible alternatives in order to offer naturally good products, without preservatives or additives. We do not use nitrogenous fertilisers – which swell the fruit due to water retention. Our concern is to ensure the taste and nutritional quality of our juices. And also to take care in this way of the good health of our trees and of our courageous pollinating friends: bees and bumblebees.