Etienne Dupont believes that only one great cider can be made, given any set of apples, because the balance has to be perfect. There are three maturities for each general category of apples [bitter, sweet, acidic], giving nine types in all. Each type is collected at three different times between October and December subject to maturity. Soil is, calcareous, and marly. This soil produces small fruit with highly concentrated flavors perfect for the production of cider. No nitrates are used, allowing for a slow, complete fermentation. Nitrates act like steroids in apples, bulking the fruit up with water and lessening concentration of flavor. They are thus, undesirable. More importantly, apples are picked manually, making the quality of fruit consistantly high.