Follow the apple trail for a real taste of the Perche. Meet the cider-makers, visit the orchards and sip fresh juice, sparkling cider and award-winning calvados….
Apples are part of the landscape in the Perche. Freshly picked, baked, dried or pressed – they’re the pride of the Percheron palate. Every year, recipes are exchanged over the garden hedge and the sweet smell of oven-hot pies fills the air. If all that makes you thirsty, come and make apple juice or cider at an autumn festival or workshop - or simply join a tasting any time of the year.
In the 17 century, the Perche was pure cider country, but it wasn’t until the 19 century that local cider-makers began exporting their golden nectar to the four corners of the globe. By 1960 however, the cider-market had dwindled and industrial farming was winning the day. Trees were ripped out and orchards were abandoned…until a handful of apple-lovers spawned their renaissance in the 1990s. Communal orchards were saved or recreated. Grafting and pruning courses filled up fast. Today, over 50 ancient varieties have been identified, several have been lovingly re-cultivated and Perche Cider is now en route to receiving an AOC label.
From the succulent Coudre to the multi-coloured Michotte, the noble Calville to the sweet Pink, the flavour of the Perche is in full bloom. Spend a day out in the orchards. Visit the distilleries and enjoy the local tipple at the very core of the Natural Park.