As you might expect from a region known for cider and lace, there’s a lot to see in Normandy. From a range of cider festivals to a huge seafood festival and one of France’s best film festivals.
A lead glass cider jug from Northern France. This is interesting because it has remnants of the original paper label (with a little undecipherable ink writing). It also has a facetted neck and base.
Made in France
Normandy is a region of France known for its bucolic countryside, impossibly long stretches of beach and four protected designation of origin cheeses. While it’s not as widely known as Burgundy or Bordeaux, its wine-growing regions produce a number of classic grape varietals, many of which are highly popular across the country.
Normandy’s climate is ideal for growing sensitive wine grapes, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It’s also a great place to try wine produced from a number of different grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscadet.
The area’s rich history is also evident in its architecture. The Norman cathedrals, abbeys and castles that characterise this part of the country are a reminder of the duchy’s past, which was ruled by the dukes following the Norman Conquest of 1066.
When the dukes took over, they started a long tradition of epic literature that recorded their rule. This included several works such as Wace, Orderic Vitalis and the Anglo-Norman Conquest of England.
It was in this period that the dukes of Normandy created a series of literary and art-related associations that reflected their interests in literature, history and philosophy. In the 19th century, the Society of Peinture Moderne was founded in Le Havre and Normandy was a major influence on the Impressionist movement, which was led by Claude Monet, one of the greatest French painters of all time.
Another significant influence on the movement was Ethel Sands, a British painter known for her depictions of rural life and naturalistic styles. The paintings in her works reflect her strong ties to her childhood in Normandy, as well as her own innate understanding of the countryside around her.
As a result of this, her work had an incredibly strong resonance with the broader cultural landscape. The Impressionists, a group of artists who sought to promote a new kind of naturalism in painting, were inspired by her images.
It’s no surprise then that the area is also famous for cider and calvados, a brandy made from apples. The name ‘calvados’ is a common English phrase derived from eau de vie cidre, the original French name for this beverage which was distilled in Brittany, Maine and Normandy.
Made in Germany
The Germans are no slouches when it comes to creating a well-made glass of beer. Known for its high-quality brewing wares, the nation possesses an impressive array of microbreweries and pubs where you can enjoy a refreshing brew or two.
While the country may be best known for its beer, it also produces some of the world’s finest wines. Whether you’re looking for something to pair with your steak or just want to unwind after a long day on the town, you’ll find something to please every tastebud in your party.
There’s no denying that the world’s largest wine bottle is impressive in its own right, but the best way to experience this glass of finery is by making a beeline for one of the country’s many small producers. You’ll definitely be glad you did! The following list features some of the region’s most impressive tipples. Hopefully, you’ll find some of the most memorable ones on your next trip.
Made in Italy
Patrizia Karadimos lived in Italy for many years, until she made the move to France in 2011. She and her husband and two sons moved to Normandy and instantly fell in love with the area. This region is known for its dramatic coastal cliffs, long stretches of beautiful beaches, historic towns with their iconic half-timbered buildings and picturesque cathedrals, abbeys, and castles.
Despite its relatively small size, Normandy is home to several vineyards that produce wines that are recognized worldwide for their quality. The region’s unique microclimate and rich soil make it an excellent place for grape cultivation.
Wines produced in this region include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other varieties that are popular in France. These varietals are grown in a cool and temperate climate that is ideal for growing grapes with delicate and sensitive flavor profiles.
Another popular beverage from this area is cider, which is made from apples and pears. It is usually made in a process similar to champagne, although it isn’t as bubbly and is more sweet than dry.
One of the most interesting and intriguing beverages produced in this region is Cidre, which is a type of sparkling apple cider. While most of the ciders sold in Britain are very similar to cider, normandy cidre is distinct from the rest because it is naturally fermented using yeast that lives on the apple peels.
This process gives the drink its signature bright, apple flavor that is unlike the slightly sweeter British ciders that are also produced here. If you’re looking for a fun and refreshing experience, try visiting a cider distillery for a tour and tasting.
In addition to wine, the area is also famous for producing cheese. There are four famous types of cheese that are made in the region: Camembert, Pont l’Eveque, Livarot, and Livarot d’Auvergne.
All of these cheeses are made with the milk from a specific breed of cow that is native to the region. This special breed of cow produces milk that is high in fat and rich in flavor.
All of these products are available for purchase at local supermarkets and restaurants in the area. To determine if a Camembert is authentic, look for the label that says “Appellation controlee.” This means it’s made in the area and must be manufactured there to be considered a genuine Camembert.
Made in Spain
Spain has a long and storied history as a wine country. Its sherry was a coveted export during the Roman era, and the country’s wines were once a major part of its culture. However, Spain’s wine industry was decimated by phylloxera in the 16th century. Today, Spain’s wine producers are pushing the boundaries of the traditional styles of this country and making their own wines that resonate with global markets.
Spanish wine is characterized by its rich diversity of grapes, with over 400 different varieties grown throughout the country. The main reds are Tempranillo and Bobal, while the whites include Airen, Albarino, Verdejo, and Palomino.
There are many ways to classify wines from Spain, including DOP (denominación de origen protegida, or ‘protected denomination of origin’) and DOCa (denominación de origen Calificada, or ‘certified organic’). These classifications share similarities with the AOC/C system of France and the DOC/G system of Italy, but there are also several sub-categories in each region.
Moreover, there are also DOPs for small and medium-sized wineries that focus on organic farming and sustainable growth. This is an important step towards a more ecologically friendly future for the country’s winemakers, and it’s a great way to support local vineyards and small-scale family wineries.
The DOP system was introduced in 1932, and has evolved to incorporate the criteria used in the DOC/G systems in France and Italy. It is used to identify quality growing regions and differentiate their wines from those made in lower-quality areas.
In order to qualify for DOP, a winemaker must meet certain quality standards, which include minimum yields, maximum alcohol levels, and other production limitations. As of 2019, there are 138 DOP areas across the country.
For the most part, these regions use the neutral Airen grape to produce a range of wine styles from simple, crisp and refreshing to complex, earthy and sophisticated. But with the cooler nighttime temperatures that come with high altitude vineyards, ambitious producers are using this region’s unique terroir to craft varietals that will resonate with international audiences.
Another important aspect of Spanish wine is its oak aging. Historically, Spanish winemakers have used both French and American oak to age their wines. These two woods have different characteristics, adding a new layer of complexity to the final product. Most Rioja reds are aged in French oak, but many Spanish producers use American oak as well. This adds layers of complexity to the Tempranillo and Granache grapes that make up most of the reds produced in Spain.