In collaboration with Cider Is Wine, the IWSC held the first 100% juice, not-from-concentrate ciders, perries and fruit wines tasting. The aim was to “raise awareness amongst the trade and industry, and champion this under-explored category, as well as awarding medals to outstanding products”.
Some of the finest palates in the land took part in the tasting, which took place in July 2021. We are therefore absolutely delighted to announce that we were awarded two bronze medals! Our bronze award winners are:
Michelin single variety 2020 keeved, pét nat 75cl fine cider
Yarlington Mill single variety 2020 500ml cider
When we look at the quality of the other cidermakers who also won bronze awards, we feel very proud and priviledged that our ciders were rated similarly to them.
The term fine cider can be pretty divisive in craft cider land, but it tends to be used for ciders that are similar to our new, limited edition ciders. Therefore we are giving the fine cider term a whirl here; apologies if it offends! Another good name for them is natural ciders.
We have three, 2020 vintage, special ciders, hitherto known as “the experiments” which we have just released. All are in 75cl bottles, so wine bottle sized, and they are naturally fermented using only the wild yeasts.
They are naturally sparkling, pétillant naturel (pét nat), another fancy term, also known as the ancestral method. This is where the cider is bottled before fermentation has completed and so fermentation continues in the bottle, trapping the carbon dioxide that is produced naturally. This carbon dioxide gives the cider a fine, natural fizziness. And who doesn’t love a bit of natural sparkle?
All three of our fine ciders are pét nat, and one of them is also keeved. Keeving is a fairly complex, traditional method of producing a naturally sweet cider. However no sugar or artificial sweetener is involved, so that’s just marvellous.
The three new ciders are all unpasteurised, unfiltered and have no added sulphite. They are made using 100% handpicked, unsprayed apples that we picked and pressed ourselves. We also did the bottling, designed the labels and stuck the labels on the bottles. You can’t get more artisanal and hand-produced cider than this!
Below is a short summary of the individual ciders. Full details are on Our Ciders now.
Bramley & Chisel Jersey co-ferment 2020 pét nat 75cl
Made from 100% handpicked, unsprayed Bramley and Chisel Jersey apples that were co-fermented. Bottle fermented with the natural yeasts, naturally sparkling (pét nat), dry cider. Unpasteurised and unfiltered. 7% abv. Refreshing acidity, a beautiful colour and fine bubbles. Paul’s new favourite cider.
Kingston Black single variety 2020 pét nat 75cl
Made from 100% handpicked, unsprayed Kingston Black apples. Bottle fermented with the natural yeasts, naturally sparkling (pét nat), dry cider. Unpasteurised and unfiltered. 7.4% abv. Delicate citrus notes with moderate tannins and fine bubbles.
Michelin single variety 2020 keeved, pét nat 75cl
Made from 100% handpicked, unsprayed Michelin apples. Bottle fermented with the natural yeasts, naturally sparkling (pét nat) and keeved to produce a naturally medium-sweet cider (no sugar or sweetener added). Unpasteurised and unfiltered. 5.2% abv. Subtly sweet with hints of mandarin orange and with fine bubbles.
We have very limited quantities of these fine ciders and they will only be available from a small number of stockists. Full details will appear on Where to buy soon.
We have just released our brand new, medium dry cider, named after our crazy old rescue dog, Millie. It is a quaffable, lightly sparkling, medium dry cider. We love our dry ciders here at Temple Cider but we realise that some people do prefer a slightly sweeter cider. Millie’s Magic is by no means overtly sweet, but we have added some of our delicious pressed Dabinett apple juice to the fully fermented cider, to give that touch of additional sweetness.
As always with our ciders, there is no added sugar or artificial sweetener, in fact no nasty additives at all. The sweetness comes purely from the delicious pure apple juice that we used to back-sweeten the cider immediately prior to bottling. It is a lightly sparkling and very easy drinking cider and has already gained some lovely positive comments. We hope that you like it too!
As always, we handpicked the apples for this cider, from one unsprayed, non-commercial orchard. We picked the apples when they were at their optimum ripeness and quality. Then we pressed the apples on our rack and cloth press and added a little cultured yeast to aid the naturally occurring wild yeasts. No sulphites were added. It is gluten-free and vegan, as for all of our ciders.
For our blended ciders, we like to feature one of our ‘blended’ mongrel, rescue dogs on the label. This convention amuses us much more than it probably should.
Yarlington Mill cider – single variety: it’s out now!
We have just released a brand new cider made solely from Yarlington Mill apples. It’s a luscious, lightly sparkling dry cider. We love a well-made dry cider here at Temple Cider and this one is light and refreshing. Perfect on a sunny day.
As always, we hand picked the apples for this cider, from one unsprayed, non-commercial orchard. We picked the apples in two lots, four weeks apart, so that the fruit was at its optimum ripeness and quality. Then we pressed the apples on our rack and cloth press and added a little cultured yeast to aid the naturally occurring wild yeasts. No sulphites were added. It is gluten-free and vegan, as for all of our ciders.
And, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, we will be announcing the release of another new cider very soon. It will be our very first medium dry cider! But still no sugar, sweetener or nasty additives involved as it is sweetened with our pressed Dabinett apple juice just before bottling.
We… cannot… wait…
Oh, and the label might just feature yet another Temple Cider old dog!
When we have a bit of spare time, in between making cider and working on our other jobs, we like to read a few reviews of our cider. It’s so fascinating to find out the aromas and flavours that different people pick up on.
Quite by accident, we happened upon this fabulous video review of our 2019 vintage, single variety 100% Kingston Black still cider. It’s by Chris at Cork & Crown in London, who is clearly extremely knowledgeable and is also a great orator. His videos are so watchable.
The only trouble with watching Chris’s reviews is that once you’ve watched one, it’s far too easy to keep on watching “just one more”. And then you suddenly realise that two or three hours have gone by. But it is time very well time spent in order to further one’s education about real craft cider!
If you prefer to read reviews, the Good Cider Guide website recently reviewed our three ciders from the 2019 harvest. You can find their reviews via the following links:
Considering 2019 was the first year that we made cider in ernest, with a view to actually selling some, we are pretty chuffed with these reviews.
Remember that all of our ciders are made from 100% freshly pressed apples that we picked ourselves. We press the apples here on our farm in our small cidery. There is no industrial processing involved, no apple concentrate, no nasty additives, and no sugar or artificial sweeteners added.
It is pretty cold in the cider shed right now, but this is a fascinating time of year in the craft cider calendar.
The delicious juice we pressed from the bountiful 2020 apple harvest has been busily fermenting. Paul keeps a close eye on the progress of the fermentation. He racks off the fermenting juice into clean tanks at appropriate times, leaving the lees (sediment) behind. We also sample the developing ciders to make sure all is going well. By sampling regularly we can also formulate a plan of the various ciders we will be able to create.
Some tanks contain co-ferments, which means that more than one variety of apple was pressed together and the juices are fermenting together. We are particularly excited about our Bramley / Chisel Jersey co-ferment.
Other tanks contain fermenting juice pressed from a single variety of apple. Some of this is destined to create single-variety cider, or we might blend it with other single varieties or co-ferments prior to bottling. This planning and sampling is a particularly creative activity and one that we love.
The only essential task that we don’t really enjoy in the cold weather is washing down the tanks!
It’s been all hands to the press here at Temple Cider this autumn. We have been busily picking and pressing this year’s bountiful apple harvest. Once pressed, we allow the apple juice to ferment, with regular checks on its progress throughout fermentation. Making craft cider is closely related to making wine, in that it is made by fermenting a fruit juice, as opposed to beer which is produced by brewing its ingredients.
The apples we have pressed this autumn 2020 will be the basis of Temple craft ciders that will be available in 2021. Full details of the craft ciders we made in 2019 are here.
We are planning to once again create a Milo’s Magic blend, plus we also have another blend in mind. We will have at least one single-variety cider available too. Paul is also trying out a few new ideas, so we may have some exciting limited edition specials if the experiments produce delicious results. It’s all so fascinating and we love that making cider encompasses both art and science, plus, of course, a little bit of magic…
Our currently available blended cider is named Milo’s Magic. You might be wondering why…
Well, the story is that this delicious cider is named after our very special old rescue dog, Milo. And one of his most wistful expressions is featured on the label.
Milo is about 12 years old and he’s a Staffy x Collie x German Shepherd, so quite the loveable mixture. Although not the most active of dogs – he has quite severe arthritis – he does like to know what is going on. He takes a keen interest in what is happening in the cidery and likes to have a regular stroll around. He is the sweetest-natured dog you could wish to meet. We rehomed him via the Oldies Club dog rescue, which is a rescue specifically for older dogs.
We were, quite frankly, amused that you can take Milo’s Magic to mean “Magic belonging to Milo”, which is what we think the cider is, or “Milo is Magic”, which he obviously is. It really doesn’t take much to amuse us.
We plan to name future years’ blended ciders after our other dogs. Next year’s is likely to be named after Millie, who is the most mixed breed dog imaginable (according to her DNA test results) and originates from Spain. She also came to us via the Oldies Club.
That’s enough about dogs! You’re hopefully here for the cider. See full details of our fabulous cider range.