Cidrerie de Reillon
Côte 303
Apples, quince
Lorraine, France

Grégoire Jacquot created his ciderhouse a year ago in Reillon. Initially Grég studied horticulture and worked as a technician in fruit production, before discovering the magic of fermentation during a two year stint at a cidery in Brittany. Right away, he loved how fermentation connects the tree to the bottle and after further internships, he started making his own cider in Lorraine. Grég started the project by harvesting from small orchards in the area, giving bottles of his cider to the owners in return for fruit – an exchange which he continues alongside rented plots and a small acreage he has purchased. The mix of apples changes from year to year, mostly traditional, semi-acidic varieties, which are sometimes combined with other local fruits such as pears, quince and the region’s famous Mirabelle plums. The Mirabelles ripen in a flurry of gold in August, with the apple harvest spanning a slower period from early September to late November. Most of the apples and pears are gathered from the ground, falling from the trees at their peak of ripeness.

This cider takes its name from ‘la côte 303’, a hill above the village of Reillon where Grég planted his first orchard. It’s a name that comes from WWI military maps and, for the young cidermaker, is part of the story of the villagers who returned in 1919 to rebuild houses, cultivate fields, replant trees and continue the heritage which he now shares. Twenty different apple varieties make up two thirds of the juice, met with a third of quince. The apple and quince are pressed separately and combined around 24 hours later, with fermentation starting after a few days. Grég intentionally slowed the fermentation from October to February, with slight filtration and rackings to reduce the amount of yeast and to develop a calm but still very much alive cider for bottling. A second fermentation in the bottle, and the cider was ready by summer. Aromatic, elegant and juicy with a little extra kick from the quince. Drink around 7°.

This wine is part of
Volume 63: the salon edition