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Another winter survived and hopefully spring will  bring warm and not too wet weather over the coming months.

The orchards that have been dormant over the long winter months will now be showing signs of life and May brings the most important time for cider makers, blossom time.

With a little luck the delicate apple blossoms will not be damaged by hard frosts or heavy rains and the bees and other winged insects will have done their job ensuring there will be apples on the trees come the autumn.

May and June sees the new season cider at it’s peak of condition, the juice is fully fermented by the start of the year but a few more months are needed to mature and develop to full flavour.

Salt Hill Cider will be at Reading again this year to defend our South Of England regional award which we won in 2016, it would be great to win the overall national award one year but this is unlikely as the winner usually comes from the traditional Western counties with their more widely popular “scrumpy” style ciders.

The warmer weather of spring and summer give a real boost to the demand for cider and perry but alas the market is mainly saturated with concentrate fruit based drinks with their tell-tale 4% ABV , shit “ciders” that contain all sorts of ingredients but not much apple juice!

Fruit flavoured ciders are very popular these days and many of these are basically alchopops with apple concentrate mixed with fruit flavoured squash and plenty of water.

I have been asked many times if I produce any flavoured ciders and have decided that for 2017 we will have two new additions to the Salt Hill Cider range on offer.

We will be making a ginger real cider and also a raspberry cider; both will be 5% ABV and both will be a blend of new season cider with real ginger and real raspberries respectively.

These ciders along with our more traditional 100% apple offerings will be available at discerning pubs and festivals around the area throughout the year and also available in bottles directly.

For  cider fans or anyone interested in sampling these ciders and  ciders from various other producers, Salt Hill Cider will be holding a mini-festival in  and open day in Slough on Saturday 20th May.

The full range of our ciders will be available to taste or buy along with ciders from some of my favourite producers.

Advanced booking is essential for this event so for more details contact me on 01753 823918 or email godavies@hotmail.co.uk

Wassail!

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Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year! Tonight Salt Hill Cider will be celebrating this event with the drinking of fine cider and a festival of lights to celebrate the coming spring. From tomorrow the days will start to lengthen and the Green Man will just be visible in the far distance of the orchards.   Wassail !

A chance to drink some Salt Hill Cider this weekend at Woking Beer Festival.

Merry England and our award winning Autumn Gold will be available to blow away the winter blues!

We have finished picking and pressing this week and all the barrels are now filled and are fermenting away! It’s been a bit of a slog this year as the tress around our area mostly had only about half as much fruit as last year. The quality of the apples this year has been good and I’m confident next year’s Salt Hill Cider will be good stuff!

There is nothing more to do this winter other than wait for nature to turn all this juice into cider ready for spring in 2017. We won the South Of England CAMRA cider award this year and we will be back at Reading in May to have a go at winning this award for the 3rd time.

There should be just enough of 2015’s cider left to get us through the winter months until the new season cider is ready.

Wassail!

 

Sad to report that Keith Smith died last Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

Keith was a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of Salt Hill Cider and for several years he helped me with picking and pressing each autumn and promoting our local cider at festivals and pubs around the country. His dedication and support will be missed by myself and Salt Hill Cider as we begin the first season of harvesting without Keith alongside.

A chance to enjoy some fun racing and have a few pints of Salt Hill Cider on September 11th in Cookham Dean.

The annual Gravity Grand Prix takes place all through the village so come for a day of fun and cider!

Many of the apples used in the cider come from just yards away from the race track