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How it's made

It all starts with the fruit. We now grow 69 varieties of apple here in Llandegla, mostly cider apples like Broxwood Foxwhelp, Kingston Black, Porters Perfection right through to cookers like Bramley and Newton Wonder – these are important for acidity, one of the qualities I like in cider.

When not pressing apples, I am generally lifting fallen apple trees back up. My better sorts are victims of their own success and tend to get knocked over by the severe winds we get now, since global warming stopped and climate change set in...

We wait till the fruit is ripe and then sort, wash and rinse the apples before milling them to a pulp which is usually left to stand overnight – this helps the fruit break down to release juice.

Rosies Cider Press

Next day we will either hand press the pulp using a restored Herefordshire twin screw press, or if we have plenty of apples, they will be pressed by our Kahl and Schlichterle belt press. Either way, we will expect 150 gallons of juice from each ton of apples.

Depending on the taste of the juice, it will be stored in either stainless steel tanks or wooden barrels, where it is super slow fermented over the chilly winter months. As spring arrives, the juice is drawn off the lees (dead yeast cells) and pumped into fresh storage vessels for another 2 or 3 months to ferment a bit more and mature.

The cider is usually ready to try by the end of May, all being well.  About this time the ciders are tasted and a bit of blending might take place to create the final ciders for sale.  The bulk of my cider is draught, still, real and traditional.  The ciders are sold here on the farm, at shows and delivered to shops and some of the better real cider pubs round and about. 

Some of the cider is bottled in 500ml bottles with a bit of fizz.    Some people don't like still - no problem! 

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