Hundreds of varieties of pear
Nearly three hundred varieties of pear have been catalogued in the pear orchards of the Parc Régional Normandie-Maine. As with Normandy apples, there are two types of pear: dessert pears and perry pears.
There are two protected designations of origin for pears: “Poiré Domfront” has an AOP label for making perry and “Calvados Domfrontais” has an AOC label for making calvados.
Several varieties of dessert pear are cultivated in the pear orchards. Among these, some varieties of pear benefit from either the AOC Calvados Domfrontais or the AOP Poiré Domfront label, including Saint-Jean, Verdot, Franc-Loup, Pomeret and Poire de Normandie. Some dessert pears are as suited to eating as they are to juicing.
Pear juice and perry pears
AOP Poiré Domfront perry pears come exclusively from grassy orchards with tall trees. The density of planting must not exceed 150 trees per hectare (whereas “specialist orchards” of apple trees can have from 500 to 800 trees per hectare). Perry is mainly made from the variety “Plant de Blanc”, a rare product that carefully balances sweetness and acidity. Other varieties used include Domfront, Poire Muscadet, Poire de Champagne and Poire Gai Blanc.