“Wine” of the month – August

Sydra, Eric Bordelet, Normandy, France

August 2020

On a Summer’s day there is no rain

The sun shines bright

My skin blushes in her beaming rays

This really is the life

A cider to hand

My Summer tipple of choice

My garden will be my sanctuary

So let’s sit back, relax and say…

Cheers to Summer

Cheers to sun

Cheers to all the cider fun!

This month has seen some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded, and, here at The Angel at

Hetton, we’ve loved serving our guests cold beverages outside on the terrace. So, for this month’s wine blog, it seems fitting to explore a tipple perfect for a hot Summer’s day.

After a long apprenticeship with some of the greatest names in the restaurant business and the world of wine, former sommelier, Eric Bordelet, returned home to take over the family business. It was 1992 when he took over the tiny patch of family farmed orchards in Charchigné, in the heart of Normandy’s cider producing area. Since then he has set about rescuing the ancient ‘heirloom’ varieties of pears and apples, varieties said to produce some of the tastiest fruit.

Eric Bordelet has now successfully planted many of these varieties on his 23 hectare property as well as completely rebuilding the Chateau de Hautville that once stood proud, before it burnt down nearly 100 years ago. The Chateau is no longer the family home it once was, but a place for creation, storage and aging. A place dedicated purely to the ciders.

Working organically, the fruit on the estate is dry-farmed, as Bordelet prefers to work with tiny, very flavoursome apples and pears. ‘The fruit we work with looks quite different from what you’ll find in the grocery store. I know what each apple variety brings to the cider.’ says Eric Bordelet, explaining that some ciders can have about 20 different varieties used. He adds, ‘I use about 40% of sweet apples, 40% sour apples and 20% of acidic apples to get the right balance.

The ciders created have a deliberate ‘light spritz’ quality not commonly seen in ciders today. This was a conscious decision on Bordelet’s part, ‘I want it this way because it shows off the fruit character better.’ And after tasting his ciders I certainly would agree.

Eric Bordelet’s Sydra is a complex blend, made from the maximum amount of varieties found in the family orchard. The cider apples used are taken from the oldest trees that particular year has to offer. The result: something quite beautiful, a balance of acidity and sweetness, many may say;

The perfect Summer tipple.