Famille Dupont, Calvados
The history of the Dupont Family in the Pays d'Auge region in Normandy goes back for more than 3 centuries. The oldest known archives testify to the birth of Pierre Dupont in 1703. In 1887, Jules Dupont arrived as tenant farmer at La Vigannerie, the old name of the present estate. In addition to raising cattle, he produced cider and calvados. The proceeds of his successful enterprises he was able to buy La Vigannerie in 1916.
His son, Louis Dupont, succeeded him in 1934. He continued his father's business of cattle raising. He also produced calvados which he sold in bulk to local merchants. When he died in 1974, his wife Colette, with the support of the family courageously assumed control.
It was in 1980 that Etienne Dupont took up the reins of the family estate, thus succeeding his father, Louis. He extended the estate, concentrating its activities around cider and calvados production. The old orchards were redeveloped and ten further hectares (24 acres) of low growing apple trees were planted. He went to Cognac to immerse himself in the best techniques of double distillation. Etienne Dupont was instrumental in the creation of the appellation contrôlée A.O.C. Pays d'Auge.
In 2002, his son Jerome Dupont joined the family estate of which he became the director, in partnership with his sister Anne-Pamy Dupont. The modernization of the estate continues today, always driven by this insistence on quality and this inventiveness, which characterizes the Domaine Dupont.
Jerome Dupont died prematurely on August 15, 2018.
The orchards of the Famille Dupont estate cover 30 hectares (74 acres) right at the heart of the Pays d'Auge region, 6000 apple trees in 13 different varieties. The proportion of bitter and bittersweet apples is significant, Domaine Dupont prefers the sharper varieties that play their role in giving freshness and fine subtlety in the mouth.
The poor soils of the Pays d'Auge region, consisting of marl and chalky marl of the Oxfordian (secondary era) limit the growth of the trees and this leads to the production of small apples.
The harvesting extends from September to November, because some varieties mature earlier than others. Apples are only gathered when at full maturity, which necessitates at least three visits to each apple tree. Once the apples are harvested they are sorted manually and stored in openwork wooden boxes locally called "pallox".
In the early '80s Etienne Dupont went to study the double distillation methods used to make Cognac. He was thus able to adapt the golden rules born of a long tradition of excellence. The estate's alembic allows the distillation to take place flexibly and with precision. Double distillation is essential to receive the AOC "Calvados du Pays d'Auge".
The calvados is then aged in casks: new, lightly toasted oak casks that for the first three months, where the calvados gains hints of vanilla, then in older casks for long aging, where its flavors intensify and become more complex. The most volatile alcohols evaporate slowly. The calvados progressively approaches its final sipping strength.
Domaine Dupont produces young calvados, perfect as aperitif or mixing as well as older Calvados that offer complex and intense flavors and aromas that are best sipped unaccompanied.