Welcome to a unique and exciting project in Wessington, Derbyshire: to make a real Derbyshire cider. In autumn 2016 we hope that we'll be pressing our first small quantity of cider for personal consumption. Then in 2018 our first commercial production will be released. Barry Lewis and his family have been planting this orchard since 2011, starting with some 2 year old Newton Wonders and 1 year old Beeley Pippins, which have these last two autumns produced some modest but growing quantities of fruit. In 2012/13 the majority of the rest of the orchard was planted with 1 year old saplings, some of which should produce their first fruits in 2016, and the last trees that completed the orchard were planted in early 2016.
Barry has been heard on local radio and seen on local news talking about the orchards, about harvests and even about issues like EU plans to tax small cider producers. Having a prodigious cranial measurement, and no small amount of knowledge on the subject he quite likes doing that sort of thing.
Have a look around our website, follow our story as we embark upon a journey to recreate a lost taste of Derbyshire.
We have planted what we believe is the only orchard that has all of the know old Derbyshire varieties, bringing some of these unique apples from the edge of extinction. At the end of 2015 our orchard is beginning to look mature and we are just a year or so away from producing our first cider. Beehives were also a new addition to the orchard in 2015 and we enjoyed a few jars of delicious honey, from our own apple blossoms.
Orchards are truly amazing places, evocative of a slower rural way of life and ours is very much part of our family's life. We'd like to share that with the local community from time-to-time so keep an eye on our future events.
Real cider is making a big comeback as people turn their backs on the watered down uniform mass-produced products available from supermarkets or trendy city centre pubs and clubs. People want that sharp, complex and well-developed flavour that only real cider delivers.
Copyright Wessington Cider 2016
Find out more about Derbyshire's orchards and the heritage varieties in them.