When I took those pictures of Normandy cows grazing in an apple orchard, the ones I posted yesterday, we were driving around on the east side of La Ferté-Macé looking for Monsieur Breton's house, where he sold calvados apple brandy to retail customers. We had driven right past it, it turned out. Breton is or was a bouilleur — a distiller or "boiler" of cider. We had seen him featured on a TV show about French regional products called Carte Postale Gourmande.
Breton's sign was almost hidden by vegetation. It looks like there were two other producers partnering with Monsieur Breton to make calvados and pommeau. Calvados can be single-distilled to about 60 proof (30% alcohol) or double distilled to 140 proof (70% alcohol) — it resembles cognac but is made with apples rather than grapes. Pommeau is a less powerful brew: it's an apéritif wine made by fortifying cider with calvados to about 30 proof (15% alcohol). Both calva and pommeau are to be consumed avec modération, bien sûr.
After finding the sign, we drove through the gate and parked in front of the house inside. There were no cars or people to be seen. I snapped the photos above and below, and we were getting ready to leave when Monsieur Breton drove in. He was friendly and didn't seem to be bothered to find us there.
In the photo above, you can see his still, with his name spray-painted on it in blue. This is obviously a working establishment, not a tourist site. If you want to read more about calvados, here's a link to a site written in English by a blogger in Normandy. I just read on Wikipédia that 50% of the region's production of calva is exported.
Above is a photo of the Bretons' house. He invited us in and pour us little snifters of the calvados he was selling. He told us his wife was off in the Loire Valley (if I remember correctly) spending a few weeks with her sister, so he had the place to himself. He was talkative and interesting, and was interested to meet two Americans who could speak French with him.
I believe Monsieur Breton's first name was or is Marcel. I've tried to find web sites that give more information about him, but without much luck. I did find this photo on one site, and i believe this is him. I wonder if he is still living. He told us the orchard where the cows were grazing belonged to his son, and maybe the son is now running the calvados business. Here's a site where you can buy a bottle or two, if you want. Some are more than 50 years old and sell for two or three hundred euros.