With more apple varieties than grape varieties on the planet, what cyder maker worth his salt would not revel in this palate from nature?
Apples essentially fall in to 3 main camps in terms of their contribution to cyder and vinegar making. Firstly, 'sweets' – the eating fruit we buy at Farmers’ markets seasonally, or from retailers all the year round. A mainstay of our blend is Cox, but we grow Chivers Delight, Spartan, Greensleeves and Blenheim Orange, all of which impart wonderful flavour and aroma. Next, 'sours' – lovely cookers with their sharp acidity; Bramleys Seedling is the king here. These define the racy style of our cyders in particular, and the East Coast in general. Alongside our Bramley, we have the wonderful early season Grenadier and the multi-talented and gigantic Howgate Wonder. Lastly, 'bittersweets and bittersharps' – the red grape to a cyder maker, with skins packed with astringent tannins and juice with abundant sugar, these are the apples that add complexity and structure – Medaille d’Or, Kingston Black and Bulmers Norman are among our favourites.