Jacques Perritaz is a former biologist for the Swiss Government who quite literally stumbled upon cider making. Jacques lives in the small village of Fribourg in the world famous dairy producing region of La Gruyère. Some years ago while hiking nearby he came upon a small grove of apple trees and notice all the fruit was just rotting on the ground.Always the preservationist he began to investigate and discovered that these trees were 150 to 200 years old and produced ancient, heirloom varieties of cider, or cidre apples and pears. So Jacques went to work figuring out how to make cider and found that these ancient trees were all over the place and none of the owners had the time or desire to pick the fruit.The project was basically a fun hobby until he took a trip to Normandy and paid a visit to the great Eric Bordelet. It was here that he realized that making excellent, traditional and natural cider was actually a viable commercial enterprise.He took some extremely valuable lessons from Bordelet and went back to Switzerland to begin turning his hobby into a professional Cidrerie. We're happy to report that it has been a rousing success!Jacques is a very meticulous cider producer. He sources only the best, heirloom varieties mentioned above (everything is fully organic, though not certified) and ferments them carefully with only native yeasts. He keeps some fresh juice on hand in case fermentations get stuck, since this can lead to outbreaks of brett.The results are dry to off dry ciders that are full of saline minerals and a real sense of crisp, Alpine air. They are the perfect apertif and so refreshing that they go great with pools and beaches too. But don't hesitate to pair them with a whole range of foods, from cheese to fried chicken!
This is another excellent cider from Cidrerie du Vulcain. It is not, for me, as racy and beguiling as the “a propos d’ailes” bottling but it isn’t far off. Really a treat.