How it's made
It all starts with the fruit. We grow 65 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.
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.
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 fermented over the cooler 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 mature before final blending into the final ciders we produce. The cider is usually ready to try by the end of May, all being well.