I'm not much of a cider drinker but the sunshine, fresh air and willingness to try new things has caught up with me. Usually what springs to mind when you mention cider is Somerset, The Wurzels or teenage binge drinking. But not in Wales. Recently I've visited two artisan cider makers in South Wales and I've tasted some of their delights.
First stop Gwynt y Ddraig Cider, one of Wales' biggest cider producers. It's not hard to see why they are one of the biggest producers as they have a wide range of ciders for all types of cider drinker. Run by Bill George and Andrew Gronow, the family cider farm started out as a hobby which grew into a full strength business. As well as stocking supermarkets and pubs they also host a cider festival with music and madness to draw in the crowds.
My personal favourite was the Autumn Magic cider. A light cider with a refreshing fruity taste, a bit girly but I loved it! And on the subject of girly cider the next farmhouse cider maker I visited was Jessica Deathe, a sheep farmer in South Wales. Jessica's cider is only available on draught or from good old farmers markets and trade fairs. Three Saints Cider is the name she sells her cider and perry under. It's a small business that Jessica runs by herself. She began making cider because of the ancient orchards she had on her land. Now if you give her some apples she make your cider for you! Three Saints Cider and Perry has a cider for all occasions, from A bit of Rough to the award winning sweet perry Laughing Juice.
These cottage industries have tickled my taste buds and refreshed my view of cider. The beverages are for the cider connoisseur, medium, dry, sweet or sparkling take your pick.