Normandy-wine and farms

Mar 9th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Normandy-wine and farms

Hi-am spending 5 days in Normandy and am looking for some artisinal farm related "activities" (i.e. seeing a goat cheese farm, etc.) or any foodie activities-NOT a fois gras farm though! Are there any vineyards in Normandy?
Can't will be apple blossom season!
Jenski is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Normandy has no wine vineyards. The Specialties are cider and Calvados.
The digestif is Bénédictine made in Fécamp.
You don't see goats in Normandy.
The cheeses made there are many but best known are Camembert(tastes so much better there) Pont l'Eveque,and Neufchatel
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Normandy is not known for foie gras, goat cheese, or wine. Where are you going to be in Normandy (it's a big area), and what time of year? Will you be driving? Depending on the time of year you are likely to see plenty of roadside signs saying, e.g., "vente ici cidre," or "fromage à vendre." But without more specific information from you it's hard to steer you toward anything in particular.
The tourist offices will also have brochures and information about local farers and their products.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 9th, 2005, 10:11 AM
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If you're interested in vineyards and goat cheeses, maybe you should plan to visit the Loire Valley instead of Normandy. It's only about 150 miles further south. There's a 'ferme-auberge' -- a farm that rents out room and even apartments and has a restaurant that serves the products produced on the farm -- near where I live, 40 miles east of Tours.
ckenb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Okay ckenb, give us the name and contact info for this place!
vedette is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Not on my dates!!!
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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To Mimi and Ken

Bonsoir les Amis,

Hmm, one can find "du fromage de chèvre" in Normandy, even if it's not the most famous production in the field of cheese... This url (which corresponds to Dieppe townhall and gives info in French about Normandy) mentions a producer of goat cheese selling it on Dieppe market. He runs a "ferme pédagogique" (would you say "educational farm, please ?)

À la ferme
La pomme et le cidre symbolisent depuis toujours la Normandie. Les fermes du coin accueillent de plus en plus les visiteurs. C’est l’occasion de déguster les spécialités locales, que sont le cidre et autres produits à base de pomme, fromages de chèvre et de vache, comme le Neufchâtel. L’Office du tourisme tient à jour une liste de goûters à la ferme. Près de Tôtes, visitez le domaine viticole de Bretteville (tél. 02 35 32 94 01).

Si vous avez apprécié son fromage de chèvre vendu sur le marché de Dieppe, le samedi matin, vous pouvez faire un saut chez M. Bazin et découvrir ses secrets de fabrication dans sa ferme pédagogique du Val de Bures à Bellencombre, en suivant la toute mignonne vallée de la Varenne (tél. 02 35 93 90 15).
Marie007 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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To Jensky,

Bonsoir !

As our friends asked you, where in Normandy do you intend to stay ? Normandy can be divided into 2 main regions :

"Normandy consists of 2 administrative regions:
Lower and Upper Normandy.

The Upper Normandy with 2 departements :
Seine-Maritime & Eure

The Lower Normandy with 3 departements :
Calvados, Manche & Orne."

Thus, Normandy consists of 5 "départements" : "la Seine-Maritime", "L'Eure", "le Calvados", "L'Orne" and "La Manche"... Which makes 30 627 km2 (5% of French acreage, about 5% of the French population, about 114 people per square kilometre)

600 km of coastline
362,000 hectares of forest
14,000 km of rivers

7,500 km of ramblers paths
200 museums
50 abbeys and cathedrals

80 parks & gardens
39 golf courses
37 pleasure/boating ports"

Here is some info about Norman cheese in English :

First of all, "le camembert" (info in English) :

Le Livarot (in French. But if you click on the English flag, you'll get a window with the explanations in English) :

Le Pont-L'Evêque (in English) :

This site in English provides lots of information about Norman cheese :

Now, about wine !!! If you look at a map, you'll see Normandy is located in the north west of France and thus, its fresh and often wet climate is not propitious for viticulture/wine-growing...

See the very first url and click on "climate", you'll get the following info, a map where you can get the forecast when clicking on "météo France" and average temperatures :

"It has a very variable ocean climate, characterised by humidity, mild temperature, and severe seasonal variation."

So, there were vineyards in the past in my "province" but the wine was not very good and was mainly used for the... mass It was produced by the first abbeys, then by "les seigneurs" (nobles)

"La viticulture a été pratiquée en Normandie par les premières abbayes puis par les seigneurs. Le vin n’était pas d’une très grande qualité. Le service de la messe l’avait rendu nécessaire"

Consequently, you won't find any vineyards in Normandy. But you'll be able to discover its famous cider, Pommeau and Calvados... Voilà ! Bonne journée ! Marie
Marie007 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Here are some more recent figures about Normandy (in French, but easy to understand) :
Marie007 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 12:03 AM
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Here's a nice English-language site about all the foods of Normandy:
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 12:13 AM
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And here is a site with lots of information about farm visits and farm stays in Normandy:

The English-language option should open. If it doesn't come up in English, look for a British flag and click on it.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Here's a web site for the ferme-auberge:

Click "Accès et Contact" to get contact information, including an e-mail address.

ckenb is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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So how's the cooking at la Lionniere?
vedette is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Farm style. Lots of duck and lamb. And stewed goat, if you like that. Also lots of goat cheese. Good Touraine wines.
ckenb is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Thanks. Will go on my next trip. Now I will return the favor: if you take an excursion to the Vezelay area, the ferme-auberge across the road from Bazoches is good. This is maybe 20 km due south of Vezelay and directly across the road from the Chateau de Bazoches, the home of Vauban and very interesting.
vedette is offline  
Mar 11th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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I like La Lionniere. Françoise is charming. The kind of food she serves is the kind I like. And she has some good local wines.

Thanks for the tip about the place near Vezelay. I have been thinking a lot about Burgundy recently.
ckenb is offline  
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