Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Beyond Vannes

Geographically Vannes is set in the centre of the Gulf of Morbihan, more or less, so there is an arm of land out above and below it. After we left the town we drove along the southern peninsula right out to the end.
First stop was a cider museum, with tastings afterwards. There was a film, and then a self-guided tour round the old machinery, all well signed with plenty of information. There was even a bee hive, because of the importance of bees for pollination. I haven't smelled that smell since we used to have a hive in the garden when I was growing up. At the end there was a little orchard with a collection of different types of cider apples.
The photos are of two cider presses and a mobile still.
The first cider press is a central screwed one - there was also one with a long transverse beam running across the top. I'm afraid I don't know how to translate the technical terms into English.
The granite one is the only one of its type that the museum was aware of - it dates from 1929 and is cut from one piece of granite. Easy to clean was the advantage, apparently, and there was no need to take it apart each year for maintenance.

We got to taste four different ciders. The one we liked best was what they called an aperitif cider - crisp, sweet, slightly acidic. That was the one we bought a couple of bottles to take away. We also had a sweet, a brut and a semi. Me, I love the Breton cider. It's low alcohol, often only 2% or 3% abv, and it really tastes like fresh pressed apples. I wish we could get cider that good here. Traditionally in the restaurants it's served in little jugs (a pichet), and drunk from pottery (or if you're upscale, china) bowls. But when we had some down near La Rochelle, it was served in pottery beakers.

Along the way after that we stopped and went for a walk along some estuary land. We saw some egrets and plovers as well as herons and swans.

Port Navalo is the little town - if you can call it that -  at the tip of the peninsula. We had another walk here around the end of the headland...

1 comment :

  1. Love the new header! Our leaves aren't showing much color, but a lot are turning brown and falling. Those presses are indeed impressive. That must have been an interesting tour along with the taste test. Is that... could that be a lighthouse with the green top? I've never seen one with a green top, not even in a picture. Love it.