From the importer: “Dry to moderately sweet, with a discreet salty finish, the different blends or individual varieties speak so clearly yet so delicately —watercolors, not oil paintings. Essentially, these ciders are unmistakably Alpine: at their core is transparency, levity, and altitude; the same cool wind that runs through most Alpine wines; the freshness of a mountain stream, the child of snow. And they stand apart, different from French or Basque ciders, with less to none of that animal, fermentive character.
Jacques credits their unique character to his ancient Swiss varieties and how they are grown. He has planted an orchard, but for now all his ciders are produced from the fruit of foraged trees, in the sense that they grow isolated or in small groups. He must find their owners and secure an agreement to buy the picked fruit or harvest it himself. There is now a solid base of tree owners with whom Jacques has an ongoing agreement, while for others – it depends on their mood.
All in all, Jacques processes the fruit of 150 to 200 trees every year. Because there are so many owners, he cannot get organic certification, but all the trees are untreated. They are also all grown haute-tige, literally ‘high branches’, which was the traditional method used when the trees grew in pastures as part of an ecosystem, rather than in dedicated large orchards. With haute-tige, the branches start high enough from the ground so that cattle can graze under the trees or use them for shade, but not eat their fruit unless it has fallen. The problem with this method is that each tree requires at least 100 square meters to thrive, and their production is irregular, with a good harvest every other year. It’s obviously antithetical to industrial production, but their fruit is smaller and tastier.”