Why you should be excited

Domaine is a bittersharp cider apple from Normandy that's little-known to most people outside France, but significant in the Pays d'Auge.

The story of Domaine

In the Pays d'Auge region of Normandy, there are 13 apple varieties at the centre of cider-making. Regulations there mandate that the primary variety in all ciders must be one of those 13. Think Bedan, Bisquet, Rambault and Rouge Duret, for four. Don't feel embarrassed if you don't know them; they aren't well known in North America.

We grow three of the other nine Pays d'Auge favourites, including Noel des Champs, Frequin Rouge and Domaine.

It's hard to find much information online about Domaine, but we can tell you it's a bittersharp apple, which means high in tannins and high in acid, but not so high in sugar. So it needs to be blended with other varieties to make great cider. Which is exactly why we're growing it.

Domaine Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Normandy, France, sometime pre-1900.

Flavour, aroma, texture

In cider, it contributes substantial tannin, decent sugar and a goodly amount of acid. A valuable combination, for sure.


Round and shortish, with red blush and stripes over green.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Not a good idea to ever try eating one of these bitter apples.

Quality for cooking

Cider-only, please!

Quality for cider

Very much a useful cider apple.

Keeping ability

Minimal (a few weeks of 'sweating' at the most).