We met Nicolas Garnier who is cultivating the ancestral know-how of his glorious forefathers.
Can you describe Calvados Garnier in a few words?
The Garnier distillery is a family business founded in 1877 and passed down from father to son for five generations. I joined the distillery about three years ago and work with my father Patrick. We produce 100% apple Calvados using a two-band press and a Gazagne column still acquired in 1923, which we take great care of ! Our Calvados are characterised by a strong fresh and fruity character thanks to the careful selection of the apples and the signature of our column still which highlights the fresh apple, with floral and milky aromas. We don’t want to mask this fruit with too much wood: our most recent barrels are over thirty years old and are of Cognac origin. The oldest date from 1877! Our visitors often describe our range as feminine and delicate.
What are your main markets?
Our area is not very touristy so we sell our production to cellars and restaurants throughout the Normandy region. We also have Parisian customers and we have been developing in Europe for three years.
What are your development opportunities ?
We want to conquer new export markets and consolidate our partnerships with our current distributors. Recently, we have renewed our labels and packaging to make them more attractive to consumers of spirits who are not yet familiar with our Calvados range. The future of Calvados will depend on strong brand identities, in terms of branding, positioning and organoleptic characteristics. So that we no longer hear from our prospects: “I already have a Calvados, I don’t need a second one!” .…when they are offering dozens of whiskies and rums!
Normandy has enough quality Calvados producers that wine merchants should not be forced to import other expensive spirits… A little patriotism, for goodness sake!
Your favourite cocktail ?
The Calvados Tonic : 4 cl of Calvados Fine completed with a fresh tonic. We also test other more elaborate cocktails but beyond a certain number of guests, a quick recipe allows us to enjoy them too !