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Domaine Johanna Cécillon

It is easy to think that Muscadet is simply the terminus of the Loire Valley, but historically and geologically, it […]

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Domaine Johanna Cécillon

It is easy to think that Muscadet is simply the terminus of the Loire Valley, but historically and geologically, it is actually an extension of Brittany. The medieval keep in Clisson anchored the far southern boundary of Brittany – the frontier where the Celtic language and customs were once practiced and preserved. This history is written in the castle’s very stones – hard, grey, granite – the same stonework that is common throughout the rest of Brittany to the north, and the same hard, mother-rock that underlies many of the great terroirs of Muscadet.

The source of this granite is an ancient geologic formation, the Armorican Massif – one of the oldest in France, dating back to 650 million years ago. Weathered over centuries, it forms the backbone of Brittany, France’s largest peninsula. Its indented and rugged coastline is host to innumerable small fishing villages and stunning vistas. The rich cultural history of Brittany is rooted in Breton, the Celtic language of the region with its folktales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Holy Grail, as well as poetry and music. These literary pursuits are leavened but thoroughly grounded by the abundance of seafood from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and the bounty from the interior – famed for its buckwheat fields, apple orchards, and dairy farms. Despite the presence of Muscadet on the very doorstep of Brittany, the main beverage of the province is cider. Traditionally made, Breton cider comes from a blend of apples indigenous to the region. Some are tart, some sweet, and some have a pronounced bitterness, but together, they make the ideal drink to have with your crêpes or galettes, preferably served in a small earthenware cup.

Domaine Johanna Cécillon covers 8 hectares of orchards located on Johanna’s family estate in Sévignac and Trédias in Brittany, France. The estate perpetuates the tradition of Johanna’s grandparents, whose apple groves were located in La Grange aux Moines near the north coast of Brittany.

Louis Cécillon, Johanna’s father, is a descendant of a long line of winemakers from the Rhône Valley. He trained in cidermaking, his passion, in his adopted home of Brittany. Together, Johanna and Louis maintain and manage their family’s orchards – manually harvesting their apples and making traditional Breton cider, all while respecting the environment around them.

The domain’s parcel selections have revealed the forgotten Celtic terroir of centuries past. In cultivating this ancient land, the estate has one objective: to produce rare, exceptional ciders that can be shared and enjoyed with others. In crafting these ciders, they practice manual harvesting, natural yeast primary fermentation, no added SO2 or enzymes, barrel aging, secondary fermentation in the bottle with native yeasts, and no disgorgement. The majority of their orchards are greater than 30 years old and are a diverse selection of indigenous apple varieties. They practice organic farming, believing that it not only produces the best fruit but that it is the only way to preserve, for future generations, this unique and ancient terroir.

Brittany, France
  • Location
    Brittany, France
  • Primary Appellation
  • Proprietor
    Famille Cécillon
  • Winemaker
    Johanna Cécillon
  • Size / Elevation
    8 hectares / meters
  • Age of Vines
    30+ years old years
  • Farming
    Certified organic
  • Varieties
    A variety of indigenous breton apple varieties both sweet and bittersweet
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation, no added SO2, primary fermentation in tank, barrel aged, then secondary fermentation in bottle, no disgorgement
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