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Apples & Orchards

Our ciders are borne of their surroundings. Myrtle Farm is as important to our cider as the apples themselves. Nestled at the foot of the Mendip Hills, the Thatchers orchards are our pride and joy.

If an apple tree could choose where to be, we like to think it would choose our orchards.

Every last little factor is taken care of including soil type, drainage and where they are planted, it’s like a five star hotel for apple trees.

Our very special Exhibition Orchard is home to 458 different varieties of apples that John Thatcher has collected over many years for future generations

We study every one of these wonderful apples – testing their suitability for cider making in various combinations with different skills.

One of the great things about being a family cider maker is that there is always something new around the corner. Our cidermakers are always innovating and creating new ciders with different apples, to ensure we have an interesting range of varying styles and strengths.

 

 

 

We’ve over 500 acres of orchard now and these aren’t just home to apples. They provide a habitat for wildlife and lock up carbon.

Beehives in all of our orchards help with pollination at blossom time. It’s not just honey bees that make our orchards their home – we encourage bumblebees too with the planting of their favourite wildflowers.

Thatchers Cider: A Year in the Life

Alongside famous cider apples like Somerset Redstreak and Dabinett, and popular dessert apples like Katy, we’re also proud to grow 458 varieties of rare traditional apples in our exhibition orchard – we think it’s the largest collection of cider apple trees in England.

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Apples don’t grow overnight. Our trees take six or seven years to fruit fully and they’ll have a productive life of around 40 years.

Caring for our trees is a year-round job. From planting and pruning, pollination and picking, there’s always something happening in our orchards.

Over 25 varieties of apples are grown for our ciders. Each has its own role to play when it comes to flavour and aroma. Such as Tremlett’s for its tannins, Redstreak for its peppery notes, or Dabinett for its long, lasting flavour.

There is nothing nicer than being out in the orchard during blossom time. Late in the afternoon when the air is warm and still.

Martin Thatcher

Growing the highest quality apples is of vital importance to us – the best cider starts in the orchard.

Our very special Exhibition Orchard is home to 458 different varieties of apples that John has collected over many years for future generations.

Farming at Thatchers Cider

We believe that family farms should be around forever. It’s thanks to many family farmers that our landscape in Somerset and other apple growing counties is beautifully diverse.

That’s why we love to buy our apples from farmers who care about their surroundings, their farms and their families.

As well as growing apples in our own orchards, we support dozens of farms by buying their apples for the tasty cider we make here at Myrtle Farm.

We have been working with some of these farms for generations and hopefully for many generations to come.

 

 

Our annual Wassail ceremony plays its part in the character of our orchards.

It’s not just bittersweet apples that we use – culinary and dessert apples are an important part too. The Katy apple, one of our favourites, brings soft fruitiness, while the Falstaff apple brings a light, fruity aroma.

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The Apples that make our Cider

Thatchers commitment to quality starts in our 430 acres of stunning Somerset orchards. Harvesting the best quality apples allows our cider makers to craft the tastiest ciders.