We work closely with multiple growers in order to source the highest quality fruit for our wines and ciders. Each fruit is carefully selected for its flavour profile in order to es and ciders. Most of the fruit used in our Anatomy cider is sourced from the Biddenden orchards and vineyards in the Kent Weald, a site which contains twenty three acres of gentle south facing slopes situated in a sheltered valley.
All its fruit is hand-harvested from soil made up of sandy loam over clay, creating the perfect growing conditions. We also source much of the fruit for our Gateway cider from Bibbenden. Working with Biddenden allows us to show the full potential of local South-East fruit and what can be done with it.
Our soon to be released Tinston Best cider, will see a collaboration with the Best family in Dorset, who have been growing apples at Hinkowle for decades. Matt and Frida Best carry on the work started by Rupert Best, growing a variety of traditional and innovative apple varieties, suited to traditional cider styles. Their years of experience and knowledge growing this fruit can be seen in the quality of the cider that we will produce.
We have also recently started working with Ross Mangles of North Down Farm in Devon for the 2022 harvest, to harness the tannin and intense apple flavours of the traditional cider varieties of Dabinett and Yarlington Mill. With ciders to be released from this fruit in 2023.
The array of varieties lend diverse and unique flavours, aromas, tannins and levels of acidity to our ciders and wines. Our fruits are blended carefully and tasted at regular intervals in the process, in order to create the dry, crisp, refreshing flavour profile that we seek from our drinks. Our products are full of natural character, and remain true to the natural complexity of our hand-selected fruit.
Bramley (Sourced from Biddenden) for Anatomy: This variety is a non-traditional cider apple, more widely used as a cooking apple. It contains higher acidity and lower tannin than traditional cider apples. This however, makes it very suited to champagne style cider, as crisp acidity is required to create the perfectly balanced palate of this style of cider. In using Bramley apples, we are taking a page from the playbook of champagne makers, who only use early harvested, high acid grapes to ensure balance and ability to age in their finished products.
Cox, Russet and Worcester (Sourced from Biddenden) for Gateway: This blend of eating apples are commonly found growing in the South-East. They combine to create a softer, but still crisp cider style, which has slightly more tannin and structure than the Bramley. We have found that these varieties allow magnificent ageing potential when used in traditional method cider, creating some of those biscuity, bready, buttery aged notes which fine sparkling wine similarly aged displays. These varieties have created our most awarded cider to date.
Yarlington Mill (Sourced from The Best’s & more recently North Down Farm) for Best and other future releases): A bittersweet cider apple, which has been used in cidermaking in the west country for hundreds of years. It has rich, ripe apple flavours and good tannic structure, which imparts strong ageing potential. This will form a large portion of the blend of our new Best cider.
Browns (Sourced from The Best’s in Dorset) for Best: A sharp traditional cider apple, which will complement the Yarlington Mill well in the Best, the browns will provide a rich fruitiness as well as some balancing acidity, which the Yarlington Mill lack.
Fiona, Gilly (Sourced from The Best’s in Dorset) for Best: Both of these varieties are recently (21st century) developed by the Long Ashton breeding programme of the late 1990’s for early maturing cider apples. Both varieties have tannin and balancing acidity and will form an important part of the best blend.
Dabinett (Sources from North Down Farm, Devon) for future cider projects: This apple produces a consistently high quality cider that is well balanced. It can be used as a single varietal cider, as it has all of the best qualities of traditional cider, tannin and rich, ripe apple flavours. Keep an eye on our socials and website for updates on what we intend to do with this variety.