May this year will see the launch of the Cider Innovation House created in partnership with Barny Butterfield from Sandford Orchards - opening alongside the exciting Darts Farm Drink Cellar and Tasting Bar.
Barny will be showcasing his blending and cider making and collaborating with other cidermakers, brewers, winemakers and spirit makers to offer you the very best of this artisan adventure.
Ever the energetic explorer, Barny Butterfield explains his inspiration for everything cider. "My philosophy is to be true to the fruit. Believe in heritage. The recipe for our cider is not a secret, it's writ large on the landscapes around our Cider Works.
The difference between good and bad cider is so often the degree of detail the cidermaker is prepared to go to - how fastidious they are!
Barny's favourite apple is the Tremlett's Bitter - thunderously tannic. It's a behemoth of a cider apple from Devon. it's small and conical - very pretty - the Malbec of cider friuit.
You cannot drink this stuff cold - you've got to let it show off its fruit. In a blend it's stunning - it's got a peppery, spicy edge to it.
We ferment our Ice Cider miles closer to being dry - like a drier Madeira. It has this huge tannic structure, because it's 300% apple juice - or 300% cider! - Its got big, strong structural acidity because of the concentration through freezing - but it's dry so it's ageing beautifully and tastes amazing.
It takes four or five months - it's wild yeast. It's very rewarding to be part of a sort of scientific adventure into cider. We're interested in working with others and developing the layers and the depth and the complexity to discover wonderful new ciders.
With Mother's Day fast approaching, we have made gifting easy with a selection of top picks; from flowers and chocolate to foodie hampers and unique artisan treasures from our Gift Department.
A delicious recipe by our Head Chef Paul Matthews, using Dover Sole from The Fish Shed!