Venton's Devon Cyder

Mark and Sharon Venton moved to their cottage in Clyst St Lawrence, East Devon in 2006 and upon clearing their overgrown grounds they uncovered a derelict 100 year old apple orchard. In their first season rather than waste the apples, they borrowed a hand-turned crusher and basket press making 25 gallons of Cyder mainly at weekends. Although complete novices, they were inspired and three years later Mark rebuilt a Victorian press which could hold over 1 tonne of apples. Using the traditional Devon method of pressing apples between layers of straw and then fermenting in oak barrels, they produced 1,000 gallons and won the 2009 and 2010 Devon County Show first prize in the Dry Farmhouse Cider class. Today, annual production is around 6,000 gallons and the Cyder is sent all over the UK. The original equipment is still used but supplemented with a hydraulic press, washer elevator mill and large storage tanks. Apples are sourced from nearby orchards, many of which originally supplied Whiteway’s Devon Cyder, once the largest producer in the UK. In June 2016 at The British Cider Championships held at The Royal Bath & West Show, Venton's won both Gold and Silver Medals, as well as Reserve Champion in the farmhouse cider class. This artisan approach places more emphasis on consistent quality rather than consistent flavour, always striving to make the best from what is available. Using unsprayed heritage cider apples, wild yeasts and the natural sugars from a wide variety of apples, the resulting whole juice Real Cyder is as natural as it gets. Any excess Cyder is turned into Apple Cyder Vinegar and the pressed apple pomace is fed to livestock so nothing goes to waste.
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