It was upon his return from the First World War in 1919 that Jules Desfrièches- who had already earned the nickname of “Père” Jules or “Father” Jules- with a love for his region and its apples, decided to turn hos passion into his trade. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by his grandparents, who were themselves in love with Normandy and its treasures. With their help, Jules learned to make cider with the apples from the family farm. He then started to sell his products locally. Due to the appreciation for its quality, the “Jules Desfrièches” cider was more and more in demand in restaurants in Normandy. Then in 1932, Jules distilled Calvados for the first time, without know that it was the beginning of an institution. In 1949, his son, Léon Desfrièches joined the family business. On his arrival, he created the brand “Le Père Jules” in honor of his father. The production continued to expand and the market for cider and calvados developed to the point of being sold in some of the best restaurants in France.
Thierry Desfrièches, the grandson of “Père” Jules, joined his father in the business in 1976. with a careful eye on the business and its evolution, the first export sales were started in 1980 in Europe and then later throughout the world. The son of Thierry, Guillaume, joined the family business after he finished his studies in oenology in 2002 to become the fourth generation in the affair.
The process of making the cider begins after harvest in late October, when the apples are stocked in a dry, ventilated room for about 2 weeks. The pneumatic press is used for a soft and controlled extraction. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to press 4400lbs. Alcoholic fermentation starts naturally in a stainless steel tank and lasts for about 2 to 4 months. Very light filtration occurs after alcoholic fermentation. Bottles are laid down and aged for 6 week while second fermentation takes place and the still cider becomes sparkling.
Please enjoy a video tour of Le Père Jules.