Growing up and now living back in the West Country I felt I needed to find out more about our very own local tipple… Cider.
Off I went on an educational day working at Orchard Pig in Glastonbury, Neil, Rob and Will were all very welcoming and helped in making it informative. Giving me a thirst to learn and taste more about Cider.
The process has similarities to that of wine making starting outside in the open, in this case the orchard. It’s vital that the technique of pruning is done correctly in the winter to give the best crop of fruit for the following harvest.
I spent the morning with Will pressing the apples, once the apples are pressed the free run juice is pumped in to containers and then the sugar and PH levels are tested. This will give an indication of alcohol strength and acidity, they also keep a record of which apples came from which orchard.
Orchard Pig also make apple juice and even with my cold I was able to distinguish between the taste of the free run apple juice to that of the free run base cider juice. At that stage the apple juice won hands down! However, the base cider juice has a long journey before it tastes great for the glass.
The afternoon was spent in the bottling room with Rob and Adam and this is where all the technical elements happen to ensure your cider reaches you in perfect condition. I was able to try ciders at different stages but due to my blocked nose I wasn’t able to get the full benefit of this, however I did get to feel the texture, tannin and acidity levels.
The real learning curve was that cider is becoming a drink to be taken seriously and its image is to be seen as not just for drinking but to accompany food.
The best quote of the day when tasting was…” You don’t spit cider like you do wine, other wise you don’t get to appreciate the full flavour” I like the tasting philosophy!
Find out more about visiting and ordering from Orchard Pig go to www.orchardpig.co.uk