Monday, 13 December 2010

Half Moon Cider ....as it comes

A while ago in an idle moment, ie before we planted a vineyard and idle moments became a thing of the past, it occured to me that the taste of apple juice is no less interesting than grape juice, in fact often it has more subtlety and character. From our semi in suburbia I thought about how great it would be if somebody got the chance with the right apples to make bottle fermented cider using sparkling wine techniques.
The coincidence that exactly the right mix of apples remain in our old orchard is gobsmacking. It is what made me think that living here was just meant to be. Bramleys for acidity, Golden Nobles, Morgans and Arthur Turners for sweetness and just enough old local Aller cider varietals that nobody seems to be able to identify for body.
We picked our first crop in 2008 using a wheelie bin to get them to the car - who would have thought that an old Mercedes estate could carry a third of a ton of apples.
There are long winded debates within the Cork Dorks of this world about the word Natural in relation to wine and other drinks. There are fervent ideological standpoints, squabbles between bloggers and I wonder when they find time to actually drink the stuff - maybe they don't. All I know is that the trees are left alone, it is fermented by whatever yeasts are in the air and we don't add any sulphur beyond cleaning out the bottles before filling.

This is an exciting time as we are just ready to start selling it. the first draft of the label is finished, Castle brewery in Taunton are going to sell it and we have interest from NewForest Cider who sell at Borough Market. It has taken two yers for it to mature properly, over time it's lost it's rough edges, it is light and has great fruit. Actually becoming more wine like!

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