What is the secret of cider making? It all comes down to the apples used. We only use cider apples, and it is the blend of the sweet, sharp, bittersweet and bitter sharp apples that give such a wide range of styles to Somerset cider. Most of the apples we use are bittersweets.
When we started it became quite clear to us that there was a wealth of beautiful apples available locally. We used some small local orchards for a while then moved to slightly larger, and level, orchards. The support we have received has been absolutely amazing, we are grateful to all those who have, who do and who will let us loose on their land to collect what is surplus and turn it into prize winning ciders and lovely, clean apple juice.
It was as we started to grow significantly that one of us had a brainwave! Let’s plant our own orchard. The response ‘by the time you get a decent crop off them you will be too old to make the cider’ rang true. I realised I did not want to spend years nurturing an orchard to then see it become ‘another forgotten local orchard’ and become overgrown and unloved. So we use trees that wait patiently for someone to use the apples they put all their effort into growing for us and which otherwise would go to waste.
We only use 100 % cider apples in our traditional ciders
We use a blend of traditional varieties such as Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black, Sweet Alford, Sweet Coppin, Harry Masters Jersey, Chisel Jersey, Stembridge Clusters, White Jersey, Hangdown, White Norman, Browns apple and Morgan Sweet. We have even been known to use Bulmers Norman too!
There are also a few trees we are not quite sure what they are yet!