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About Galipette Cidre

Galipette Cidre is a pure juice (pur jus) cider – what does that mean?

Pur Jus (literally meaning pure juice) is a cider made to the highest possible standards. The term Pur Jus can only be given to French cider that does not use concentrate and it symbolises quality, care and skill.

Pur Jus represents and encapsulates everything that is at the heart of what Galipette does – the best expression of the finest cider apples grown in the world and converted into cidre with skill, care and passion.

Pur Jus means pure juice and NO ADDED WATER. Why is this important? Well, if you want to make the best cider on the planet, why dilute it? Galipette Pur Jus cider is an expression of time, place, and process. In the world of wine, this is called terroir. Sadly, many makers of cider around the world don’t think this way. The majority add lots of water to dilute the alcohol, flavour, and integrity of their products. Of course, you can make more this way, if that’s important to you.

Many of these drinks are made with apple juice concentrate rather than fresh-pressed juice. By turning the fresh apple juice into a highly concentrated syrup, the producer is able to establish fermentation any time during the year and facilitates an industrial cider-making process – quick, clean, dull, always the same.

But cider made from concentrated apple juice does not represent the best of what cider can be. The evaporation of water during the concentration process uses up huge quantities of energy. During the concentrating process, there is considerable loss of delicate and subtle aroma and flavour compounds, leading to bland and boring cider.

If all you use is Pur Jus, how does Galipette manage to create such differing styles, flavours, and nuances of cider?

The first answer is skilled blending or as we call it, L’Assemblage. Each harvest’s cider blend is usually made from between 10 and 20 different apple varieties. As a co-operative we have access to 250 apple varieties, each with their own unique flavours and characteristics. It is the innate knowledge of these different properties that enables us to achieve all of the different aromas, tastes and styles we wish, without having to compromise on quality.

Our cider is made only once a year – it is a vintage product, just like wine. In a lifetime, therefore, a Cellar Master – Maître de Chai – may only ever have 50 opportunities to receive a range of batches of cider and work with them to ensure they can make the best cider possible. To master the skills of the Maître de Chai takes skill, time, knowledge, passion, intuition, and touch. One could say a sixth sense is achieved.

With access to a large number of different apple varieties, the secret is knowing which ones to blend together to get the perfect taste. The manifold, but often subtle, differences in the fruitiness, juiciness, tannin, and acidity would confuse most people, but luckily a good Maître de Chai knows his or her apples.

We can be experimental, playful, and innovative. Our goal is to showcase the differences in classic ciders from Brittany and Normandy based solely on the blending of specific apples; to unleash the true essence of French cidre with our pure juice blends.

Where is Galipette from and how is it made?

We’re from apple country; our ciders are made in Normandy and Brittany – the two finest cider regions on the planet, in Northwest France. Although very different regions, with different cultures and customs, Normandy and Brittany are old friends that share and celebrate a passion for producing fine cidre.

We don’t consider one region to be ‘better’ than the other; we know that Normandy and Brittany are unique in their own terroir and apple varieties. This enables us to make incredible blends and unique ciders. Normandy and Brittany coming together to make the best cider is the epitome of great COLLABORATION, one of the key values of Galipette Cidre.

Galipette ciders are crafted from only the finest local cider apples, fermented and matured harnessing the centuries-old traditions of Northwest France. Our process unlocks the intense and bold flavours of the apples we use. Learn more about our process here.

Galipette is a CIDRE – what is the difference between CIDRE and CIDER?

In order to use the official designation “CIDRE” of the French Institut Des Productions Cidricoles (French Cider Institute) the key legislated requirements are that only French cider apples are used, and sugar can never be added to the cider (only naturally occurring sugars following the natural fermentation are permitted).

Where do those Galipette apples come from?

Galipette is passionate about collaboration, working with others for the benefit of people and the planet. We are grounded in a co-operative model of agriculture and cider-making. Our apple growers are united through a co-operative whose mission goes beyond cider-making and has a broader socio-economic purpose for the region of Brittany and Normandy and for French cider-making heritage. Fair grower renumeration is at the core of the co-operative, as is empowering the growers who are its de facto decision makers.

The best apple growers, and therefore the best makers of cider, also need help to ensure that the highest number of high-quality apples is harvested every year. This help comes from friends that live all around us – wildlife. And they get rewarded too.

First, we have pollinating insects. Apple trees cannot reproduce by themselves – they need insects, usually bees and hoverflies, to carry pollen from one apple variety to another to ensure new apples will grow. The apple growers receive the benefit of pollination, and the insect gets lots of food from the blossom nectar along the way! For honeybees, of course, this then turns into honey, and the cycle of mutual benefit continues.

There are other insects that are less desirable for apple growers – things that want to stop apples being produced. They are not our friends! Luckily, apple growers have the support of many birds in the orchards that eat these moths, mites, and aphids. Orchards provide the dining table; birds bring their hunger!

What makes the cider apples of the region so special?

For centuries, what has made Breton and Norman ciders stand out, as they do now, is the special types of apples being used. Thought to be a hybridization between Roman introduced ‘domesticated’ apples (Malus domestica) and ‘wild’ apples (Malus sylvestris) that had existed in French woodlands for tens of thousands of years, these special apples contain something unique – TANNIN.

Tannin can be found in tea, coffee, and red wine. It is a unique flavour and mouthfeel component that helps give cidre extra special earthiness, fruitiness, structure and long after taste. The result is cider with great complexity, but easy to drink. Perfect. Only one other area in the world traditionally uses apples such as this – the West Country in England. And guess where they got them from??

All apples, to a greater or lesser extent will contain compounds that provide some crispness and freshness. This is known as ACIDITY. The majority of cider apples are quite low in acidity. The natural acid contained within apples is called Malic Acid. The final important component is SUGAR. Once again, all apples contain sugar – this is what gets converted into alcohol by yeast. Some varieties naturally contain a bit more sugar, some a little less.

There are hundreds of different apple varieties grown in Normandy and Brittany for the sole purpose of making cider, every one of them slightly different in shape, size, colour, texture, aroma, and taste. It is this rich palette of flavours that enables there to be such a wonderful diversity of cider styles.

Tell me more about sweet apples, bitter ones, and bittersweet?

Our apple varieties are broken down into the following classification, based upon the proportions of Tannin, Acidity and Sugar:

ClassificationMalic Acid (% w/v)Tannin (% w/v)Sugar Content
Sweet<0.45 (low)<0.2 (low)High
Bittersweet<0.45 (low)>0.2 (high)High
Bitter<0.45 (low)>0.2 (high)Low
Acidic>0.45 (high)<0.2 (low)Low

Sweet (les pommes douces)

  • These apples have low acidity and relatively low tannin.
  • They help to provide fruitiness, floral aromatics, and a higher alcohol potential
  • #3 They mature third in these four groups.

Bittersweet (les pommes douces amères)

  • These apples are the powerhouse of classic cidre
  • The rich earthy aromatics and astringency commonly associated with cider from Brittany and Normandy each come from these apples
  • They also contain a high sugar level, which is important when using the keeving method
  • #2 They mature second in these four groups.

Bitter (les pommes amères)

  • Like the Bittersweet apples but containing a little less sugar
  • These apples also provide spicy characters
  • #1 They mature first in these four groups.

Acidic (les pommes acidulées)

  • To provide balance with the sweetness and tannin, we use these varieties, which are much lower in tannin and much higher in acidity
  • Very important apples when it comes to blending
  • #4 They mature last in these four groups.

How important is the land on which the apples grow?

Brittany and Normandy are the perfect landscapes to grow apples. They have the exact balance of sun, rain, warmth and chill that is crucial to growing the best cider apples on the planet.  One of the special elements of cider (and wine) and what separates them both from beer, is the fact that they are an expression of the place in which the raw material grows, and therefore, where they are made.

This expression of time and place is known as “Terroir”. The magic of terroir lies in the fact that it combines lots of different factors that have an impact upon how the resulting cider will taste. These factors include hours of sunshine, average warm temperature, amount of rainfall, number of freezing nights, soil type, underlying geology, nature of the topography, and aspect of slope. These factors can change over quite small distances, such that a specific apple variety grown in Valley A could, in the same year, produce a cider which presents slightly different aroma, taste and mouthfeel characters than one grown in Valley B.

When this is zoomed out to a broader regional scale, the differences in drinking experience can be quite pronounced, because the differences between Brittany and Normandy are quite big, too!

Normandy has a gentle, lush climate, with deep, rich soils. This creates a patchwork quilt of land uses, known as bocage, that has had cider-making at its core for over 1000 years. Whereas in Brittany, the rough, rugged, rocky nature of the land, plus the impact of the Atlantic Ocean, creates an intense energy in the resulting ciders.

What makes your cider-making process special?

What makes the cider of Brittany and Normandy so special (beyond the 1000+ years of heritage, perfect climate and generations of apples growers and makers) is a very special cider-making process.

Although it is now imitated by makers in England, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, what we’re describing was first undertaken in Brittany and Normandy and remains the classic way to make cidre.

Once the apples are harvested and crushed into a pulp, we start the maceration process – effectively leaving the pulp to rest; strong, bitter tannins are turning into soft and smooth tannins and pectin precipitates from the juice, aiding its clarification. After somewhere between 4 and 48 hours of macerating, it’s now time to press the pulp. The full process is explained here.

Despite the efficiency of pressing technology having improved significantly over the centuries, the basic principle still remains identical – an application of pressure to the pulp across a membrane to separate the liquid juice from the solid pomace. The ‘waste’ pomace is traditionally used as feed for pigs or cows. We send ours to be added to other organic waste at an Anaerobic Digestor. It is turned into green electricity.

Galipette uses a so-called keeving process – what is the magic of keeving?

The freshly pressed juice is now sent to a tank where it undergoes a vital step in the process: keeving. Thanks to the maceration process, the pectin (jelly-like component) within apples starts to precipitate out of the juice to form a cloudy gel. Over the course of a few days, this gel begins to rise to the surface, attracting yeasts and nutrients to bind onto it.

Eventually, it sits at the very top of the open tank to form a brown, crusty layer, known as the “chapeau brun” – the brown hat.

This keeving process has done 3 things:

  • Collected many of the wild yeasts and nutrients in the juice and bound them up into the chapeau brun
  • Clarified the juice to make it brilliantly clear
  • Started the process of creating an intense, juicy flavour profile

Once the chapeau brun has formed and is compacted, the cellarmaster and his team will move the clear, yeast and nutrient deficient juice into another tank ready for the next step – fermentation.

How does Galipette help preserve the French cider-making heritage?

The apples for Galipette ciders have been grown in these areas for more than 1,500 years. Many of the apple growers we work with have grown apples in their own families for 3 or 4 generations.  There is a culture and heritage of making cider in Brittany and Normandy that is deeply rooted into the landscape. Galipette uses the traditional method of keeving to create its ciders without the need for adding water or sugar.

Respect for the “Cahiers des Charges” of our apple growers and a savoir-faire passed on for generations guarantee quality and traceability of our products. Fruit traceability is key for us in the context of contributing to the preservation of the terroirs of Brittany and Normandy, and their natural habitat and biodiversity.

Galipette is made from the finest cidre apples grown in Brittany and Normandy, the beautiful, rural regions of Northwest France. Here, there is a slower pace of life where people take the time to breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sun and marvel at the beautiful landscape. The Galipette drinker can savour this experience when taking a sip, no matter where they are. Galipette is born in the old orchards of Normandy and Brittany, but it bursts to life in towns and cities across the world.

How do you contribute to economic & social sustainability?

Agriculture has changed over the last 60 years, with considerable intensification and industrialisation leading to the majority of small farms no longer being viable. Yet cider gives small farmers a chance to compete with multi-national industry through the provision of jobs.

The growing of apples for cider requires skill, knowledge, and people to constantly maintain the trees. These are plants that grow for 20+ years – not just one season. This industry needs skilled people. The cooperative model of apple growing has enabled many more small cider apple growers to remain economically viable compared to England, Spain, or Germany. It provides stability and certainty, as well as enabling apple growers to share knowledge and best practice, and helping each other out in times of need.

Galipette is especially important for these apple growers because it is a pure juice cider. This means that no added sugar and no water can be added to the cider. All of the intensity of flavour that is needed in the cider must come from the apples. This is why only the finest apples from Brittany and Normandy are used. And there are more of them in a bottle of Galipette than in many other ciders that have water added because we use Pur Jus, so more apples are needed, which helps small farmers.

How do you support environmental sustainability?

Like any form of agriculture, growing apples for cider has an impact on the environment. Unlike industrialised agriculture, however, growing apples for cider makes considerably less impact on carbon emissions, soil health and biodiversity, and has a key part to play in Regenerative Agriculture.

Apple trees are not an annual crop – they are a perennial. They require investment upfront, with a long-term payback. This provides security for the grower and for the protection of landscape alike. It can be up to 5 years before an apple tree reaches full cropping potential, and orchards will last for 20-25 years. These orchards are also a mix of different varieties, ensuring greater genetic diversity than a monocultural planting such as wheat or maize.

Orchards have the opportunity to contribute towards minimising carbon release into the atmosphere. Above all, the power of photosynthesis across the thousands of hectares of orchards in Brittany and Normandy can lead to a considerable sequestering of carbon from the air, into the body of the tree and into the soil.

And speaking of soil, Regenerative Agriculture as a principle starts with conserving the health of our soils – the fundamental component of our ecosystems.

How do the Galipette cider orchards support biodiversity?

Orchards benefit biodiversity above the ground as they are effectively semi-woodland structures, providing habitats for multiple invertebrate species, as well as birds, mammals, and amphibians. Older orchards, especially, harbour rare species of national significance.

We also contribute to biodiversity by working with over 200 apple varieties across the terroirs of Bretagne and Normandie with strong commitments to preserving older apple varieties (also referred to as heritage varieties).

Third, as orchards are no-till environments, they help to ensure that locked-in carbon is not released into the atmosphere but contributes to a richer undersoil biodiversity.

I hear you like agroecology. What is that?

One of the key commitments of Galipette Cidre’s apple growers is agroecology – sustainable farming in collaboration with nature. At the core of agroecology is the relationship between plants, animals, people, and their environment but also the balance between these relationships in an orchard.

The key sustainable farming practices inside our orchards include

  • Planting of hedges
  • Weeding by Sheep
  • Sustainable pruning techniques
  • Accommodating insectivorous birds

Does your process use more water?

Quite the reverse. Pur Jus means no added water. Our commitments go beyond that and start in the orchard with no irrigation – to a water and energy efficient brewery – and finally end with reprocessing of wastewater thanks to a treatment plant created in 1997.

How old is cider making in France?

Cider is an old drink, rooted in mystique. We don’t know exactly how old, but we do know that the fermentation of apple juice has been documented for over 2000 years. It has had many different names over the centuries. The Hebrews called it shekar, the Greeks sikera and the Romans sicera. It is the latter that we have to thank for bringing ‘domesticated apples’ to Northwest Europe.

What do we mean by ‘domesticated apples’? Well, the apples that we know now, whether they are used for eating, cooking, or making cider, exist today as result of human intervention. It’s amazing to think that the primary descendent of apples we use in everyday life originated about 10,000 years ago in the Tien Shan mountain range in Central Asia.

It’s here in modern day Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan that the last remnants of wild apple forest can be found. These protective, rugged mountains and fertile, sheltered valleys would have provided the last refuge for many plants and animals during the last Ice Age, which lasted for 100,000 years and ended a mere 10,000 years ago.

Trans-continental trade routes, notably the Silk Road, began to establish themselves, and apple pips hitched a ride West – in the gut of hungry humans and horses, eventually reaching the Fertile Crescent. It is these people – the first farmers – who solved a great conundrum: how to replicate the same apple tree when planting of a pip gives a different tree?

The answer to this question, of how to pass on these genetics, was found in the process of grafting, whereby a spur of growing wood from the desired variety is taken and affixed onto a variety already planted in the ground that displays good rooting characteristics.

The tissues combine, enabling the flow of water up into the graft wood, and the two varieties are bonded. This process is still the bedrock of the apple-growing industry today. So, when you look at any commercial apple trees, you’re not looking at one variety, you’re looking at 2 fused together.

In time this knowledge was transferred further West, and it was those great horticulturalists, the Romans, who brought these apples into Northwest France. At the same time, the Moors were bringing other domesticated apples into modern-day Spain, and through the great trading ports of the Atlantic Coast, an exchange of apples and cider-making culture would have occurred.

The history books show us Gregory of Tours talking of Breton cidre in the 6th Century, whilst King Charlemagne’s book, De Villis (790-812), makes frequent mention of the benefits of making cider. Certainly, by the 12th Century, the making of cider had become truly established in Brittany and Normandy.

Ordering & shipping

Do you offer free shipping?

Yes, we offer free shipping on all orders of four cases or more (48+ bottles).

What are the shipping fees?

Shipping costs are visible at the shopping cart and will vary based on the country of delivery. Please note, the British Isles of Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man may receive alternative shipping fees to the rest of UK. Please note that shipping costs depend on the weight of your order. The maximum weight of one parcel is 25kg. Orders weighing more than 25kg are shipped in multiple parcels, with shipping costs rising correspondingly.

Which delivery partners do you use?

To guarantee a safe delivery we work with established logistics partners such as UPS and DHL. Please note that Selection Prestige GmbH (our fulfilment partner) may however change logistics partners. Read more here.

My delivery has not arrived yet, where is it?

Please remember that it can take up to 48 hours for our fulfillment partner to process an order. It might then take a further 1-5 weekdays for our courier service to get an order to you. With this in mind it would be great to wait five full working days before contact our customer service team at [email protected].

I have an issue with my order or products I have received – what shall I do?

Please email [email protected] and our customer care team will happily assist you. Please include the order number, the contents and any tracking information you have received from the courier.

Can I can cancel / return my order?

Returns and exchanges can only be accepted if the item is in brand new condition. Bottles should be sealed and without damage. Items eligible for a return or exchange must be returned within 14 days of delivery. Further information available here.