Happy New Year!
The cidery’s a chilly place to be at this time of year, in the outdoor fermentation area, the unheated barn and storage container, pipes and hoses freeze and any jobs undertaken result in hands turning blue! But on a clear bright day with the low sun shining through the barn doors, as we bottle, cap and label to re-stock the shelves, it’s a lovely place to be.
January sees the start of pruning – we missed this last year so there’s quite a bit of work to do to get the trees back in shape, its going to take a few weeks. This is the first year we have let the sheep graze the orchard – the trees have grown big enough to hopefully withstand any undesirable nibbling.
We are really hoping, covid permitting, to be able to re-introduce our Bignose & Beardy gatherings this year – without wishing to tempt fate, we have pencilled in this years ‘Waking the Cider’ summer party, as well as dates for autumn ‘Picking Days’ – in addition we have a few events and festivals lined up to hopefully be able to get out and meet face to face with customers, for us, that’s the best bit about making cider – seeing the reaction on faces after that first sip!
The beginning of this month saw the B&B Team opening, testing and tasting new batches – tanks that have been ‘sleeping’ for some time, three from 2019 and one from 2017. That 2017 batch has been tested a number of times over the last few years – each time it caused a frown, one might even say a grimace, each time the lid being re-tightened – but finally, true to our belief that time is a key ingredient, that batch has come good.
The jury is out on names at present – maybe some will carry names of past, or perhaps one or two new ones? - we will reflect on our records of apple varieties, from where they came and of those who helped us pick – that should provide a bit of inspiration.