Much of last week was spent sorting out the pressing shed. Apple pressing is nearly upon us, and we have to make sure everything’s checked and working before the first fruit is ready. We bought a Voran mill and press two years ago that have been brilliant. The press is a hydraulic rack and cloth type that handles a cheese of around nine layers of fruit and the 50-tonne ram squeezes up to 120 litres of juice from that 180kg of chipped apples. The mill is like a giant cheese grater!
To support the mill & press, we have a conveyor that lifts the apples from the hopper and onto the sorting belt. We’re also sourcing a new conveyor this year to take the pomace (the spent apple pulp) away from the press and drop it into a container for easy removal. Previous years have seen the pomace shaken onto the ground then cleared with a spade into the tractor’s loader bucket. It’s like shovelling tons of thick wet cardboard, so this new conveyor should make life much easier.
Like the cider apples, pressing season is a bittersweet experience. On a crisp clear autumn day, there’s no better place to be with the smell of ripe cider apples and pressed juice filling the air. By the end of the day we’re exhausted, soaked, sticky and freezing and can’t wait to get home to a massive bowl of spaghetti in front of the fire. When pressing’s over for the year, we give thanks to the cider gods and sleep for a weekend. More details later this month with proper photos of pressing in action.
Abergavenny Food Festival
Last weekend saw Neil head to the Abergavenny Food Festival where the sun shone and the foodies turned out. We were in the beer and real cider tent along with five other cider makers so we were in good company. The new bottles went down well – we even had someone complaining that she couldn’t buy any because they were too drinkable! That’s a first – we must remember to make some disgusting cider next year.
Good news if you live in the Bristol or Bath area – you can now buy single bottles of Worley’s Cider through a local online food site called Fresh Range. They are an online ‘supermarket’ but source local food, drink and provisions from the area and deliver to your door. Click here to visit www.freshrange.co.uk
If you’re looking for a nice pint of our draught, check out The Hare on North Street, Bedminster. They were early adopters of the Worley’s draught and are real cider aficionados. www.theharepub.co.uk
Over on the Bath side, Independent Spirit are stocking our new bottles, all four will be gracing the shelves by the end of the week. It’s a lovely shop – purveyors of the finest booze. www.independentspiritofbath.co.uk
And finally, we were lucky enough to be filmed for Terry & Mason’s Great Food Trip back in the spring, and this week the show was aired on BBC2. We had a spot in the Wells farmers market, where Sir Terry Wogan himself sampled our ciders and chatted to us about how we make them. His favourite was the Special Reserve keeved cider, which he liked a lot, and we really enjoyed meeting him. Lovely chap, thanks Terry.