Our apple harvest is underway! And it’s looking a good one.
With the weather conditions in Somerset providing a perfect climate for apple growing, it’s not surprising that the county is widely regarded as the home of cidermaking.
“We had cold temperatures during winter to allow the trees a sufficient dormant period,” explains Martin Thatcher, “sun and warmth during the spring helped the blossom and encouraged pollination by our bees, which in turn helped the fruit to set; while the wet weather in August – while not popular with humans – was just what the apples needed to swell up.”
This year we started harvesting in some of our orchards at the end of August – around a week earlier than in recent years. We have 500 acres of our own orchard in Somerset, where we grow apples including Katy, Somerset Redstreak, Tremlett’s Bitter and Jonagold. We also have a number of specialist contract growers throughout the region who provide specific apple varieties under long term partnerships.
Martin continues, “This year has provided practically perfect conditions for growing apples. This is just how we like it, and we’re expecting a crop of exceptional quality this year with our preferred balance of tannin, sweetness and acidity.”
We grow over 30 different varieties of apples in our Somerset orchards, from culinary apples through to traditional bittersweet cider apples, for our range of classic and contemporary Somerset ciders. Some ciders use just one variety of apple – such as Katy – whilst our best-selling cider Gold, is a specific blend of apples, such as Dabinett and Tremlett’s Bitter.