Making our organic cider is both an art and a science.
A couple of times a year members of our production team meet with Robert West, previous Head Cider Maker and Bean Benson our director to decide on which ciders will go into the blend for our organic Black Fox and Premium Reserve that season.
They will look at what ciders are ready for drinking and come up with a list of two to three dozen that could be blended then taste all of them and make notes of the characteristics.
Next, they come up with a selection of vats with ciders that once combined will make a balanced blend. It is crucial to consider the taste characteristics that different ciders have; the tannic astringency of say Chisel Jersey; the sharp acidity of say Frederic; the body of Dabinett; the fruitiness of Browns. There are any number of apples that have these characteristics so a blend can be a combination of perhaps eight or up to a dozen or more varieties. The vats tend to mainly hold 5,000 or 10,000 litres, though they can range from 1,000 to 20,000 litres. We make blends of between 80,00-150,000 litres depending on what ciders are ready for drinking and what works together.
A litre of the blend with the ciders in their various proportions is put together. It is sweetened and fizzed and the team taste it. If the taste is not quite right we will look at the stock spreadsheet and the blend. Does something need to be taken out or added? If so we will make the adjustment and make another litre trial blend.
It is crucial that we get our blends exactly right so we can make the highest quality, delicious organic cider, exactly as expected.
If you are interested in the art of cider making we recommend booking one of our Cider Making Masterclass.
Shop our award-winning organic ciders here.