17th August 2017
The last three years have brought many changes to Dunkertons Cider. Three years ago Ivor and Susie Dunkerton decided it was time to step back from the running of the business and their son, Julian, and Jeremy (Bean) Benson took over the management of the company.
Julian and Bean soon realised that their plans for growing the company were bigger than the site at Pembridge would allow, so, the decision was made to relocate to a much larger, purpose-built site on the edge of Cheltenham. Pressing took place last autumn on the Cheltenham premises and this August work began on moving the bottling and labelling machinery and fermentation and storage vats to Cheltenham. The relocation of all the remaining equipment and stock will be complete by the end of this month.
This is a profound moment in the development of Dunkertons especially as it is now a year since Ivor died. I’m sure he would have been excited by the plans and I’m certain he would have had many ideas and suggestions about the moving and expansion of Dunkertons Cider. I worked for Ivor and Susie for more than thirty years and what I learned and understood from them was that the purity and quality of the product was everything: to this end, initially, all the fruit that was pressed was guaranteed unsprayed by any pesticide then soon they were Soil Association Organic Producers (they were the first producers to plant an organic bush cider orchard in 1988). The quality of the apples and pears picked was crucial and the same care at every stage of the process was essential in producing cider and perry of excellence.
Now Dunkertons Cider is moving into a new phase of development as a company the same pursuit of excellence remains. Dunkertons are encouraging farmers to plant and maintain even more orchards of the exceptional varieties of cider fruit so that the high standard of ciders and perrys produced by Dunkertons continues.
I think it is only apt that Ivor has the last word, from an article by Roger Protz:
“We’re deep into flavour here. Our ciders really taste of apples.”