ProducersComte Louis de Lauriston
Calvados, Calvados Domfrontais, Pommeau de Normandie
Rue du Mont Saint Michel
All year round from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00.
Saturday from 9:30 to 12:00
French — English
Groups by appointment
Created to put a stop to illegal Calvados production in the Domfrontais region, the Calvados Comte Louis de Lauriston cellars now house the forgotten treasures from the time of illicit distilling, along with a unique range of vintages from several decades which are exported to over 20 countries.
The Domfrontais region has always been the home of family farming with numerous small farms separated by rutted tracks and bordered by impenetrable hedges. The Normandy Bocage with its rugged terrain proved to be the ideal terrain for bootleggers. Here, Calvados was hastily produced on windy winter nights, when no-one would be out to check the legality of the distillation. And then one night, in 1962, government officials burst in on the bootleggers hard at work. Within an hour, the neighbouring farmers, who had somehow got wind that one of their own was in danger, started showing up. Overwhelmed by the crowd, the officials were forced to line up against the walls of a stable in the glare of the headlights of the tractors and cars arranged in a semi-circle around them. Seeing that things were taking a turn for the worse, Count Louis de Lauriston, the then Secretary General of the Farmers’ Federation, was alerted and he arrived on the scene to find a way out of the situation. After long negotiations, it was agreed that the fine imposed on the bootleggers would be cancelled on the condition that a cellar was created and supplied with Calvados that complied with all the customary obligations. Count Louis de Lauriston agreed to be responsible for this project.
In 1962, Count Louis de Lauriston created the Chais du Verger Normand in Domfront to handle the distribution of the Calvados produced by the Domfrontais farmers.
In 1992, the Chais du Verger Normand joined forces with Christian Drouin S.A. for the production and marketing of their Calvados, perries, ciders and pommeau. As part of this agreement, Louis de Lauriston granted Christian Drouin rights to the “Comte Louis de Lauriston” brand on the condition that the quality of the Calvados remain absolutely flawless!
In 2008, Guillaume Drouin took over from Maurice Chevret as President of the cellars.
Located in Domfront in the Orne, the cellars offer 25-minute tours that are free for individual visitors but with a charge for groups of over 20 visitors. During the tour, visitors learn all about Calvados production and blending, the vintages (a house speciality), as well as Pommeau, perries and apple ciders.
At the end of the tour, which includes a tasting of many of the Louis de Lauriston products, visitors can purchase and take home a selection of the cellar’s finely-crafted products available in its shop.