Well we have finally finished cidermaking for 2011!

Myself and my trusty assistant Keith Smith have been picking and pressing since September and finished in mid-November.  It has been a real challenge to make enough cider to meet expected demand for 2012 and to avoid the situation this year where I was sold out by late summer and have not been able to supply any through the autumn and winter. In the end we managed to increase production by about 50% on last year so hopefully next year Salt Hill Cider will be available at more pubs and festivals throughout the entire year.  This year’s cidermaking was quite hard as there were a lot of apples on the trees but due to the relatively dry summer and autumn the fruits were quite small so we needed to pick a great number to get enough juice.  This year the apples came from a wide range of varities and locations across Berkshire including Slough, Maidenhead, Cookham, Littlewick Green and Burchetts Green. With all the juice now quietly fermenting away we have a most welcome rest until the new season cider is ready for sale from around Eastertime.  From that time until around September Salt Hill Cider will be available as naturally dry and as medium both will be around 6.5% abv.  From September until it runs out the cider will be available as “Autumn Gold” which has proved to be very popular with drinkers and is a medium sweet cider made using the last of the season’s dry cider blended with the new season’s sweet juice which is 5% abv. As ever all the ciders on offer will be made entirely from fresh pressed juice from local re-cycled apples!  I hope that during 2012 Salt Hill Cider be enjoyed by even more people at even more outlets around Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and I will try to add details of places to find it throughout the year.  On January 14th we are off down to Sussex to attend a Wassail event to bless the orchards and give thanks for this year’s apple harvest and hoping for a good crop for 2012. We will also be having a fair few top quality ciders on the night as supplied by Middle Farm National Cider Collection, it would be rude not to really!    Wassail Greg Davies

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