Although the weather may seem a little up and down at the moment we have definitely had a little taste of the warm summer sunshine. Shorts made their way out of the closet and people all over the county were outside enjoying a bit of sun and topping up their vitamin D. There’s just one thing that goes hand in hand with a bit of sunshine and that is a good Devon Cider. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool, crisp Devon cider in the garden. Better yet, all of our Devon ciders are made from apples sourced from the orchards of the region, on Devon’s very own cider farms.
We work closely with four cider farms, those that we know make cider of the very best quality; Ashridge, Heron valley, Sandford and Lyme Bay.
But what makes Devon cider so special? To answer that, we have to know a little about the drink itself and how it is made.
We all know that cider is made from apples, but did you know that cider can actually be made from almost any variety of apple? Of course, here in Devon, our more temperate climate and many south facing slopes near the estuaries provide ideal conditions to grow specific cider apple varieties which make the tastiest and most refreshing drink. These include the wonderfully-named varieties such as; Tail Sweet, Sugar Bush, Devon Crimson and Slack-Ma-Girdle. These apples are, if you'll forgive the pun, the core of the final beverage. They are grown and tended to with extra attention in our nurturing local orchards. Here in Devon, only these cider apples are used, whereas in other regions eating apples may be used either solely or as an additive. In years long since passed, communities used to Wassail (a ceremony of singing and dancing) in the orchards to promote a good harvest, the apples were of such great importance!
Once the apples are gathered from the trees, they are then pressed or scratted. The pulp produced is layered and subjected to pressure. The juice collected is sieved and then put into vats or closed casks.
Fermentation is carried out at 4 - 16°. This low temperature makes the process slower, which in turn means that more of the delicate flavours and aromas are retained. Just before all the sugar is consumed, the liquid is re-vatted, leaving sediment and spent yeast behind. The vat is completely filled, reducing exposure to air and this is when more sugar may be added. After three months, the cider is ready for bottling, although some varieties can be matured in the vats for up to three years.
Once bottled, the cider is ready for us to enjoy. Beautiful!
A wonderful hazy cider that is easy to drink and thoroughly enjoyable on the palate. It is unfiltered and expertly blended to create a medium cider, bursting with rich autumnal, perfectly ripe apples and a long satisfying finish.
Produced from a variety of handpicked Devon apples from their very own orchards. A range of bitter-sweet to bitter-sharp apples are used to produce a truly fruity and aromatic cider that is refreshing and delicious. This cider is lightly sparkling with a medium dry taste.
Sparkling Cider has a light fizz and a fresh taste. It is dry and produced from traditional apple varieties to develop a cider that is refreshing, but not too sweet. It's rich with a strong apple tannin aroma and a long, smooth finish. It definitely meets all of the Devon cider standards!
Genuine, regionally grown Devon apples, including the tail sweet, sugar bush, Devon crimson, and slack-ma-girdle kinds, are used to make this well-known Heron Valley Cider. These apples have a slightly dry flavour that pairs well as a tangy accompaniment. Made with all natural ingredients, no additives or added yeast. Just hand picked apples.