Andrew Guard

Fribourg, Switzerland


These are no ordinary Ciders! These fabulous ciders are full of life, energy and emotion.

Jacques Perritaz, the man behind La Cidrerie du Vulcain, works exclusively with the local orchard fruits of Fribourg: ancient varieties of apples, pears and quinces grown on high-branched, untreated trees. The Fribourg terroir, with its cool climate and diverse soils, provides for beautiful nuances in the aromatic expression of the Vulcain ciders, an effect that is only enhanced by the old age of the high-branched trees.

The fruit is bought directly from the producers, and Jacques often harvests himself. By creating a buzz and demand for his phenomenal cuvées, the goal is to valorize Fribourg’s older, high-branched orchards that otherwise risk abandonment. Jacques hopes to preserve the inherently rich natural environment of Fribourg that is essential to maintaining biodiversity. This movement has been otherwise promoted by the FSP (Swiss Landscape Foundation).

Jacques’ flagship cuvées are the partially fermented sparkling ciders (made with the guillage method of Clairette de Die) and ciders crafted according to the traditional methods of Normandy and Brittany. Different cuvées are crafted in function of the conditions of each year, depending on the available varieties. The ciders are always “pure juice,” fermented with their wild yeasts, only lightly filtered and only lightly sulfured at bottling time.

The vulcain (red admiral) butterfly is the icon for Jacques Perritaz’ cider production. This butterfly, included on the cider labels designed by Gisèle Rime, is a loyal companion during the autumn harvest, fluttering among the fallen fruit on the ground. Their populations increase in Fribourg at this time of year, due to seasonal migration from Northern Europe.

Written by Andrew Guard — February 19, 2016