Though Normandy was a wine country in the 12th and 13th century, it is obvisouly for another nectar that the region is famous for. The wine production, today very marginal, is now replaced by the apple and pear cider. Normandy is now the biggest cider producer in France. The cider was introduced in Normandy in the 6th century by the Basques. Its production has grown bigger from the 13th century thanks to the invention of the press.
Normandy has 6 AOCs for its ciders, guaranteeing the quality of the products by a selection of regional apples and a strict management of the production methods : Calvados, Calvados Pays d'Auge, Calvados Domfront, Cidre Pays d'Auge, Pommeau de Normandie and Poiré Domfront.
The cider orchard of Normandy produces, each year, between 300 and 350 000 tons of cider apples. Some of it only is transformed by industrials. The remainder of it is intended to craft production of cider. Traditional orchards have a tendency to reduce in favour of more specialised orchards, located in the Calvados area and used for a more industrial production.