Happy New Year to you, we are back! It’s our great pleasure to introduce a new maker - Wilding Cider; a rare new addition to our list.
It's made by Sam and Beccy Leach, in Somerset, near Chew Magna - not far from the village of Long Ashton, that for decades was home to the incredible Long Ashton Research station - which was founded in 1903 and researched all things cider, see video here.
Sam became a chef, after training as a butcher and a baker; working in London at 40 Maltby St. and St. John. And then together they ran the wonderful and well-know Bristol restaurant Birch (with a great 2 page cider list), before moving on to focus on their cider making. Beccy also happens to be the niece of legendary cider maker Tom Oliver, so amazing cider making must be in her blood...
Their apples are hand picked from traditional Somerset orchards. Being traditional orchards they contain full size ‘standard’ trees, usually spaced 8-10 metres apart, meaning the grass under the trees can be grazed by cows or sheep, and the orchards are fantastic for biodiversity. They do not spray the trees or add fertiliser, except for a little bit of farmyard manure in very occasional circumstances.
Their cider is made in a minimal intervention manner; fermenting with wild yeasts, they steam clean equipment and do not use sulphites, filter or pasteurise. They work with both steel tanks and barrels. Their ciders are all minimal intervention, but are poised and clean, unique and full of complexity. They work with traditional cider apple varieties in some really clever ways, fermenting many small batches, creating a wonderful array of flavours.
We now have available their:
Stoke Red, 2018,750ml
Single Variety Stoke Red apples from the old Coates Cider orchard in Abbots Leigh, planted in 1951. Just one row of very big old trees gives exceptional fruit with lots of aroma. The cider fermented extremely slowly and was racked just twice in the winter to yield a naturally sweet cider with just a tiny prickle of fizz in the bottle. Stoke Red's characteristically high quality acid and astringent tannin keep it from being cloying in the mouth and what results is beautifully poised; with an aroma of strawberries and cream, with floral notes.
A single orchard selection of the best fruit from this exceptional orchard in Ditcheat. 2018 was unusually hot and sunny, and the fruit it yielded was extremely sweet and fermented slowly to give a naturally sweet cider after some winter racking. Varieties used are: Harry Masters' Jersey, Brown's, Red Jersey, Sweet Coppin, Ashton Brown Jersey, Yarlington Mill. This is a sumptuous cider with lots of fruit (tropical fruit from the Red Jersey, tangerine from the Harry Masters and apple from Browns) on the nose and well balanced tannin keeping everything in check.
Run Deep, 2017, 750ml
Fermented in stainless steel tanks, Run Deep is a blend of fruit from their Chew Magna and Ditcheat Hill orchards. It’s a wide blend of varieties, giving an 'orchard blend' character: Yarlington Mill, Fair Maid of Taunton, Brown's, Chisel Jersey, Dabinett, Tremlett's Bitter, Egremonnt Russet. It is bone dry and quite acid forward, but very balanced with well aged tannins. Great with good cheddar, as an aperitif or as a good general food cider.
You can find all of them: HERE!