There are three appellations for Calvados which is governed by appellation contrôlée regulations. These regulations require that the terroir is defined and the procedures in production, such as pressing, fermentation, distillation, and ageing are regulated. The apples and pears are defined cider varieties and a minimum of two years aging in oak barrels is required. Usually, single-column distillation is used.
The AOC Calvados Pays d'Auge area is limited to the east end of the département of Calvados and a few adjoining districts. Here there is extensive quality control. A minimum of six weeks of fermentation of the cider is required and double distillation in an alembic pot-still must be used.
AOC Calvados Domfrontais reflects the long tradition of pear orchards in the area. The orchards must consist of at least 15% pear trees and a minimum of 30% pears must be used in the calvados. It is distilled on a single-column still and a three-year minimum of aging in oak barrels is required.