Secret Orchard Cider, a small-batch craft producer with dual bases in Exmoor and Cornwall, has launched its largest range of ciders yet.
The brand is already ranked amongst the best of a new wave of craft cider-makers in the UK, having won Gold at The British Cider Championships in 2017 – the biggest competition of its kind in the world.
The still and sparkling ciders are the result of a strong harvest last year and showcase the finest West Country fruit and low-intervention production methods.
Secret Orchard Ciders are characterised by their complex yet refreshing taste; they lend themselves well to food matching and each of the new range of bottles comes with suggested food pairings.
Secret Orchard Co-Founder Joe Heley said: “We are really proud of these new ciders, and of the diverse range we are now able to offer. Each is made from pure juice rather than concentrate, and each has been carefully blended from fruit sourced from orchards high in biodiversity.”
Apples from Somerset and Cornish orchards are pressed, fermented and blended separately in order to preserve regional character; the Cornish ciders are generally crisp and light, while the Somerset blends have more weight and body.
The new range includes three ciders from each county (still, dry and medium), plus the quirky Nettle Cider.
Joe and fellow cider enthusiast Todd Studley have been perfecting their pruning, picking and pressing techniques since 2012.
Todd explained: “Our methods are natural and labour intensive when we’re dealing with orchards and fruit, then once we have extracted the juice we do as little as possible, relying on wild yeasts and refraining from adding sulphites. Our approach is really paying off and we’ve gained a very loyal following.”
The original ‘secret orchard’ is on the historic Nettlecombe Court Estate on the edge of Exmoor; Joe and Todd now also work with the owners of other small orchards to source high quality fruit, specifying that no chemicals are used in their management and that biodiversity is encouraged.
Secret Orchard Cider is available to buy online at www.drinkfinder.co.uk and can also be enjoyed at outlets across the South West.