Our orchard now provides all our fruit. Harvest runs from July (Gladstone) to mid-November (Barland, Bedan, Porter’s Perfection and Vilberie). The best fruit for cider and perry ripen from the second week in October. Trees are checked daily in order to pick fruit at a perfect point of ripeness. Larger trees ripen unevenly and require several picks.

Picked fruit are washed, sorted to remove those with rot or damage (Codling moth) then milled to produce pomace. Apple pomace is pressed immediately but pear pomace is left in barrels overnight to reduce tannin levels. Juice is filtered roughly into barrels to ferment with the fruits’ natural wild yeasts. Fermentation may take 3-6 months. We don’t use animal parts or other finings to clear fermentations, just patience. All our products are vegan.

Ours is ‘Old School’ cider and perry, made entirely from juice.

British industrial cider is brewed differently. HMRC Notice 162 determines how. It is updated twice yearly. In 2017 the Industrial cider water limit was raised from 65% to ‘no limit’. In 2019 more colourings were added: Acid brilliant green BS (E142), Anthocyanin (E163), Caramel (E150a, E150b, E150c, E150d), Carmoisine (E122), Cochineal (E120), Indigotine (E132), Mixed Carotenes (E160a, E160b, E160c, E160d, E160e), Ponceau 4R (E124) Quinoline yellow (E104) Sunset yellow (E110) and Tartrazine (E102).

Other than allergens there is no EU requirement that makers list ingredients or finings on alcoholic beverages. There are EU proposals to change this.