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À votre santé! Pour yourself a drink in Brittany

Posted by Katy Peck on 31 July 2019
Related property: Manoir Du Hilguy
À votre santé! Pour yourself a drink in Brittany À votre santé! Pour yourself a drink in Brittany

Most of us enjoy treating ourselves to a glass of something special while we’re on holiday. Whether you’re partial to a glass of wine, a refreshing cider or a warming whisky, you’ll certainly find something to quench your thirst during a holiday at Manoir du Hilguy. Here we take a look at some of the local beverages on offer and how our guests can make the most of the region’s expertise during their break.

Wine

France is known as perhaps the most important country in the world in terms of wine production. It has produced more wine than any other nation and the drink is engrained in much of French culture; in fact, the history of French wine goes back at least 2,600 years! Although French wine is arguably some of the best quality in the world, the real reason France stands head and shoulders about the rest is the variety of wine produced. No matter if you have a taste for crisp whites, deep reds, refreshing rose or even a sparkling champagne; French vineyards have evolved over the years to produce all of these and more.

The diversity of French wine is in no doubt due to the wide range of climates in the country. Champagne in the North has one of the coolest climates in the wine-growing world, while the Rhone Valley, 350 miles away, is warm and dry. There is also huge range of soil types across France, each allowing certain grapes to thrive and imparting certain characteristics onto the wine produced there.

Although Brittany itself isn’t well known for its vineyards, visitors to Manoir du Hilguy will still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the nation’s most famous tipple. Guest staying during the winter months can take part in a wine tasting session – the perfect way to sample the many varieties available, while getting an insight from a real expert.

Of course, the nearby city of  Quimper (just 20 minutes from the property) also has plenty of wine bars for those wishing to broaden their horizons. We’d recommend a visit to Le Vin Dans les Voiles, which combines a wide selection of wines with unique décor, all set inside a repurposed 1930s house.

Cider

If cider is more your taste, you won’t be disappointed. Apples are the emblematic fruit of Brittany, with over 600 varieties being grown in the region. Similarly, Breton farm cider has been made here for centuries. With a sharp yet fruity taste and a distinctive colour, ranging from deep amber to pale gold, it’s an iconic product of this part of France. In fact, the French word ‘cidre’ dates as far back as the 6th Century! Today this region accounts for 40% of the total national production, while the combination of cider and crêpes is deeply rooted in Breton traditional cuisine. In Brittany, cider is traditionally served in ceramic bowls (known as bolée) instead of normal glasses.

Cidrerie Kerné is less than 20 minutes away from Manoir du Hilguy. Founded in 1947, the Bosser family has run the cider house for three generations and now produce a wide range of products. For younger guests, or those who chose not to drink, there’s also some delicious apple juice, squeezed straight from those famous Brittany apples. They have also won gold medals for both sweet and dry ciders at the Concours Général Agricole 2018.

Cidrerie Kerné holds regular tours in the autumn, as well as year-round presentations, tastings and workshops. For more information, make sure to take a look at their website.

Whisky

With its Celtic heritage, it should come as no surprise that Brittany is also a keen producer of whisky. In fact, the French drink more scotch than anywhere else in the world! The Brittany region is very well suited to the production of the spirit; with clean, pure water and a wet climate, it’s not too different from the famous producers of Scotland and Ireland.  

Brittany is almost unique in that it produces buckwheat whisky which, as the name suggests, is created either entirely or predominantly from buckwheat. You can find Distillerie des Menhirs, the world’s first producers of pure buckwheat whisky, just 15 minutes away from Manoir du Hilguy. The family-run distillery began producing Eddu Silver ("Eddu" means "buckwheat" in the local Breton language) in 1998. This famous beverage is made in a pot heated over a direct flame, before being aged in oak casks. This careful process gives the whisky its distinctive taste, combining floral scents with notes of fruit and spice.

Today, Distillerie des Menhirs has expanded its range and now offers visitors a free guided tour, including a tasting. Find out more information on their website.

From this famous local produce to rich history and beautiful scenery, our Brittany property is perfectly located for discovering everything on offer in this part of France. To find out more about how you can spend a fascinating break here, make sure to get in touch or request a free brochure.

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Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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