We have almost 80 acres of orchards producing in a good year up to 850 tonnes of apples. In the autumn when they are ripe we harvest the apples and give them a good wash. Once clean we mash them into a sweet smelling pulp that we place on racks ready for the Press. It's important that we control the mix of different apple varieties at this stage- a second blending comes later!
As the press descends, the pulp is squeezed and delicious 100% apple juice trickles down into our collecting barrels. Now we wait and wait...
...after anything up to 6 months, the natural yeasts and sugars present in the juice slowly ferment and turn into alcohol. Once this is complete we can then concentrate on the subtle art of cider blending. Using our senses of smell and taste we set about making the perfect marriages of sweet and bitter sweet blends to create the award winning Sherborne Cider. Only once we are happy with our match making can the marriage finally be consummated with a glass or two of delicious cider.
Once approved then it's ready to share!
Once boxed or bottled the cider is ready to drink but work in the orchard continues throughout the year. The orchard needs constant attention and looking after, our trees are old friends and each requires a yearly prune and inspection to ensure it's healthy and ready for the coming season- that's almost 18,000 trees! We also rely on nature's natural pollinators so in addition to the managed hedgerows and protected areas that we leave to grow wild we also have our own beehives. Each colony could have as many as 80,000 individual bees so life on the farm is never dull!