Sandford Orchards’ Vintage Ciders awarded silver medals

Sandford Orchards’ Vintage Ciders awarded silver medals

Devon’s Sandford Orchards, producer of authentic cider created by combining tradition and innovation, is thrilled to have been awarded silver medals for all three of its vintage ciders at the International Cider Challenge 2022. The General, Sandford Reserve and Apple & Oak  each received a silver medal at the prestigious awards.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “We are absolutely delighted to receive silver medals for each of our vintage ciders at the International Cider Challenge, which is considered to be one of the most authoritative, respected and influential cider competitions in the world. We launched our vintage ciders last year after trialling more than forty different potential variations before whittling them down to these three, each of which boasts their own unique characteristics. We have been thrilled with our selection but it is always nice to know that the experts think they are pretty special too. These vintage ciders have now won an impressive haul of awards between them including a gold and silver at The World Cider Awards and a gold at the International Cider Awards.”

The General – Mighty Vat-Aged Cider (ABV 8.4%)

The General is the Imperial Stout of the vintage range. This super rich cider is bold and satisfying with the flavours of Seville orange, plum and baked apple. It is a superb complement to gamey meats or a fully-laden Sunday roast.

Sandford Reserve – Finest Cask-Aged Cider (ABV 7.4%)

Sandford Reserve is the ‘exhibition’ cider of this new range. Using the pick of the 2019 crop and matured in larger wine casks, Sandford Reserve drinks like a smooth, oaky, chardonnay with flavours of honey, Madeira and dried fruits. It’s the perfect partner to curry or spicy Asian food.

Apple & Oak – Fresh Oak-Finished Cider (ABV 6.7%)

‘Apple and Oak’, is a dry vintage cider aged in new oak barrels. It showcases youthful, ripe, bittersweet apple flavours which are complemented by hints of vanilla and toasty oak. The ideal accompaniment to a cheese ploughmans or cured meats, it’s the ‘cider nouveau’ of the collection.

The International Cider Challenge is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to reward and celebrate the diversity and range of varying styles of international cider. Ciders entered into the tasting categories are blind tasted by an expert panel of independent judges and assessed according to their taste, appearance and aroma.

Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Crediton, Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. The area has long been known as one of the most fertile parishes in all of Britain, both for its grazing and ability to grow apples. Crediton sits in the lee of the moors, so receives the right amount of rain and the right units of heat in summer. Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards harnesses these natural assets to produce an award-winning range of core session, flavoured, traditional and fine ciders.

For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk, follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Breakthrough Cider Maker Competition

Breakthrough Cider Maker Competition

Following the success of the inaugural Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards, entries are now open for 2022. These remarkable awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings with the on and off trade. The closing date for applications is 28th February.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards explains: ”The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition. It’s the competition that I wish I could have won when I was starting out. Without a budget, without much help and support, it can be really daunting trying to get started in any career, let alone cider. The winners of these awards benefit from priceless help on the journey: mentoring, advice on strategy and branding, technical help with cider production and guaranteed listing in both on and off trade. This is an award with the kind of bankable bonus that doesn’t grow on trees!”

The 2022 prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfield, founder of Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with one of The Stable restaurants, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited, mentoring from our cider makers, including a visit to our site and theirs and a Sandford Orchards winner limited edition cider. Moreover, everybody who enters will receive thorough, detailed, actionable feedback on their entry.

Barny continues: “The cider makers entering the Breakthrough Awards have their sights set on growing and improving all parts of their businesses and to get more of their fantastic ciders into more hands. The BCMA is a slingshot prize to a cider maker that the judges feel has the kind of promise, purpose and potential to go to the next level. We were overwhelmed by the high standard of entries last year and look forward to meeting even more dedicated fledgling producers this year.”

The winner of the inaugural awards was Thornborough cider. Owner, Kingsley Ash, explains: “Winning the Breakthrough Awards not only gave us validation and confirmation that we were doing the right thing, but also gave us access to a network of experts for advice, feedback, inspiration and guidance. The prizes themselves have been great, with the Vigo voucher enabling us to up our output, which was lucky as our orders increased significantly over the duration of the award. It has had a hugely positive impact on our business. Any cider makers with ambitions for growth should definitely apply.”

Barny adds: “I am so proud that Sandford Orchards has been able to make these awards a reality. It feels great to be able to give something back to the industry that has given me so much. Bringing cider makers together is always brilliant for sharing ideas and dreaming up plans which we all hope will bring the joy of cider to more and more people. By supporting the energetic future of cider across the country we hope to reach out to curious wine, beer and spirit drinkers and grow the love for this marvellous drink.”

The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards at the end of 2019 and aim to recognise and celebrate excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK. They are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year who can enter now at sandford orchards.co.uk/cider-awards/.

For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram

  • Key Dates
    • Entries close 28th Feb
    • Sample deadline 7th Mar
    • Shortlist announced 21st March
    • April – winners announced.
  • The prizes for 2022 for the Gold & Silver winners are:
    • A 12 month listing at Dart’s Farm
    • A listing at their most local Stable
    • Mentoring from our cider makers, including a visit to our site
    • Everybody who enters will receive thorough, detailed, actionable feedback on their entry.
  • Additional prizes for the Gold winner are:
    • A £500 Vigo voucher
    • A Sandford Orchards winner limited edition cider
    • A visit to the winner’s site by our cider makers to offer practical help and advice about set up.
  • Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. They press and ferment whole juice from the finest locally grown bittersweet apples and age it to perfection to create beautifully balanced and naturally refreshing cider.
  • Sandford Orchards’ range of ciders includes session ciders and a selection of flavoured ciders and recently launched new vintage ciders.
  • For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
SIMON JUPP MP SHOWS SUPPORT FOR DEVON CIDER

SIMON JUPP MP SHOWS SUPPORT FOR DEVON CIDER

Pictured at Darts Farm (left to right):  Mark Hopper, Simon Jupp MP, Michael Dart and Barny Butterfield

East Devon MP Simon Jupp met with Sandford Orchards owner Barny Butterfield, Michael Dart from Darts Farm and Mark Hopper from the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) at a public event held by Darts Farm on Friday 21st May 2021.

After being given a tour of Darts Farm’s new restaurant and cidery, The Farm Table, and learning more about the cider industry, Simon listened to concerns about cider makers’ tanks remaining largely blocked with the 2019 and 2020 harvests, which may need to be destroyed to make way for this year’s apple harvest. Worse still, was the fear that without support, decades old cider apple orchards may vanish from the countryside. The impacts of the numerous COVID lockdowns, pubs, bars shut and cancelled festivals over the last 12 months, has left some apple growers and cider makers in a perilous position.

“Cider makers are asking for much needed support to allow them to recover from the impact of COVID and for the government to keep their pledge to reduce red tape for business,” said Mark Hopper NACM. “The Treasury review into how cider and other alcoholic beverages are taxed is an opportunity to provide much needed support for our industry, but cider makers are concerned about more complexity and added cost.”

Barny Butterfield said: “This year has tested so many businesses like ours, our loss has also been felt across the industry, with apple growers and pubs feeling the hurt even more keenly than ourselves. We are grateful to have survived the year, the next few years as the industry rebuilds will be critical and we need sympathetic support from our government to survive in the long term.”

“This part of Devon has an unrivalled history in cider making and folklore,” said Michael Dart, Director of Darts Farm. “We’re proud to support independent producers and during the pandemic we launched ‘Save our Cidermakers’, which helped to engage the public with the challenges faced by these producers. But there is so much more that is needed. Recently, we hosted our Franklin’s night feast where we enjoyed an evening celebrating cider’s rich history in our county, as well as the importance of cider to our identity and our future. We call on our government to protect this unique Devonshire industry for all of us.”

Barny Butterfield said: “Cider making depends on locally grown apples, but these orchards take the best part of a decade to reach full crop and can’t just be turned on and off to suit demand. After a very difficult year, we urgently need support to ensure that capacity is opened up and cider apple growers are able to sell their 2021 crop this autumn.

”Speaking after the visit, Simon Jupp said: “It’s great to see a prominent Devon business continue to be optimistic after such a challenging year. Cider duty was once again frozen in this year’s Budget to help support the hospitality sector and the wider supply chain. I will continue to support cider makers in East Devon and NACM to help champion and promote a level playing field for the industry.”


Sandford Orchards 
Founded in 2002 to top-up a farm labourer’s wage, Sandford Orchards now occupies the oldest working cider mill in the UK and has been responsible for a revival in traditional and modern orchards employing 30. It is a vocal supporter of the wider cider industry. www.sandfordorchards.co.uk


Darts Farm 
Over the past 25 years Darts Farm has been continually evolving to become one of the most exciting shopping experiences in the South West. Darts Farm remains a family business run by the Dart brothers; the retail looked after by Michael and James and the farm headed up by Paul. The business is, at its core, still a working farm, and sells all of its home-grown produce directly through the farm shop.  www.dartsfarm.co.uk

  • Darts Farm was named ‘Best South West Farm Shop’ in the Taste of the West Awards 2018 and was crowned the Winner of the ‘Best Farm Shop’ at the Food Reader Awards in 2020.
  • With over 17,000 visitors a week, Darts Farm prides itself on its exceptional customer experience and the warm, friendly atmosphere around the store, enhanced by the Dart brothers’ hands on management, family involvement and their passionate members of staff.
  • With Ruby Red Devon cattle grazing in the fields, Paul Dart and his team harvest a wonderful selection of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, which are sold in the food hall and used by the restaurant in their delicious seasonal dishes.
  • Darts Farm can be found overlooking the beautiful Clyst Valley in the picturesque town of Topsham, near Clyst St George, on the outskirts of Exeter in Devon (EX3 0QH)
SANDFORD ORCHARDS LAUNCHES NEW CANNED CIDER RANGE

SANDFORD ORCHARDS LAUNCHES NEW CANNED CIDER RANGE

Devon based Sandford Orchards is launching three of its session ciders in a new canned format along with its full range of flavoured ciders, ready for the summer season. Devon Dry, Devon Mist and Rib Tickler will be available in cans from the end of May with Fanny’s Bramble, Old Blossom, Berry Lane and Cider Ginger to follow in June. These new canned ciders will be available from selected retail outlets including Sandford Orchards’ shop, plus hospitality venues and online from www.sandfordorchards.co.uk.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “As part of a recent £1.2m investment in our business we installed a brand new canning line to meet the growing demands for more canned drinks. We recently launched our most popular cider, Devon Red, in a can and the response was overwhelming. With BBQ season upon us and large outdoor gatherings now permitted, we felt that this was the ideal time to launch some of our other key ciders in a new can format. Cans are light, less fragile than bottles and eminently more portable making it the perfect format for al fresco consumption.”

Devon Dry Cider (ABV 5% 8 x 440ml, RRP £13.99) is crisp, dry and filled with mouth watering cider apple tannin leading to a long, clean, citrus finish. It is a tribute to the true West Country dry cider style.

Devon Mist (ABV 4.5%, 8 x 440ml, RRP £13.99) is unfiltered and expertly blended to create a medium, cloudy, session cider, bursting with rich autumnal fruits and a long satisfying finish.

 

Rib Tickler (ABV 5%, 8 x 440ml, RRP £13.99) was created with The Rugby Players Association to raise vital funds for charity. It has rich aromas of honey and baked apple, ripe and buttery on the palate, with a moreish apple skin flavour, balanced with a crisp, natural acidity.

 

Fanny’s Bramble (ABV 4%, 12 x 330ml RRP £21) is an exceptional craft cider that is a perfectly balanced and exceedingly delicious blend of fresh apple and blackberries.

Old Blossom (ABV 4%, 12 x 330ml RRP £21)  captures the essence of early summer with elderflowers adding a subtle sweetness and delicate aroma to expertly crafted Devon cider.

Berry Lane (ABV 4%, 12 x 330ml RRP £21) is satisfyingly sweet and refreshingly tart, created by adding perfectly ripe raspberries to this masterfully crafted Devon cider.

Cider Ginger (ABV 4%,12 x 330ml RRP £21) is created from fresh pressed root ginger and the finest Devon cider. It is a great food pairing for spicy dishes, and an outstanding cocktail ingredient.

Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Crediton, Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. The area has long been known as one of the most fertile parishes in all of Britain, both for its grazing and ability to grow apples. Crediton sits in the lee of the moors, so receives the right amount of rain and the right units of heat in summer.

Sandford Orchards takes a fresh, natural and low impact approach to producing cider. With their recent rebrand and expanded capacity, they started 2021 in a strong position to meet the needs of their fast-growing fan base as well as cider drinkers who want to trade up to something more authentic and better tasting.

Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards produces an award-winning range of core session, flavoured, vintage and fine ciders.

For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk, follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Breakthrough Cider Awards

Breakthrough Cider Awards

Following the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards recently presented Kingsley Ash of Thornborough Cider with the very first Breakthrough Cider Maker Award and announced the launch of the 2021/22 Awards. These remarkable awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings in the on and off trade.

Barny explains: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition. It’s the competition that I wish I could have won when I was starting out. Without a budget, without much help and support, it can be really daunting trying to get started in any career, let alone cider. The winners of these awards benefit from priceless help on the journey: mentoring, advice on strategy and branding, technical help with cider production and guaranteed listing in both on and off trade. This is an award with the kind of bankable bonus that doesn’t grow on trees!”

He continues: “The cider makers entering the Breakthrough Awards have their sights set on growing and improving all parts of their businesses and to get more of their fantastic ciders into more hands. The BCMA is a slingshot prize to a cider maker that the judges feel has the kind of promise, purpose and potential to go to the next level and I am thrilled that Sandford Orchards has been able to make these awards a reality. It feels great to be able to give something back to the industry that has given me so much.”

The overall winner of the inaugural awards was Thornborough cider. Barny elaborates: “The cider was sharp with a light bite and fantastic biscuity finish. Dry cider is harder to make well because sugar is so helpful at ironing out imperfections, so when dry cider is good, it’s brilliant! Kingsley Ash should feel rightly proud of his contribution to cider so far, and pretty excited about where he can take it.”

Barny adds: “Thornborough’s branding is really strong and elegant, and the business proposition behind it is sound and purposeful. We could also see plenty of opportunities to help Thornborough grow and improve and this is where the BCMA is invaluable.”

Rick Wyatt from Pang Valley and Marc Salter of Ex-press Cider both took away silver awards. Richard Yarnell from Mitchells and Butlers was one of the judges on an expert panel which included Susy Atkins, drinks writer and broadcaster, Helen Thomas, managing director of  Westons Cider and The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook.  Richard comments: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker awards is an exciting new initiative from Sandford Orchards, which seeks to support the growth of another ambitious cider maker by awarding prizes that directly impact on the winner’s ability to grow.  I was very excited and honoured to be asked to join the judging panel, the quality of the entrants shortlisted for the award was very high and finding one overall winner caused much debate and discussion among the judges.”

Barny finishes: “It was a real pleasure to be part of the judging and, as a business that wants to move cider and the perception of cider forward, we are really excited to get a chance to work with this year’s winners and start the search for next year’s winners too. Bringing cider makers together is always brilliant for sharing ideas and dreaming up plans which we all hope will bring the joy of cider to more and more people. By supporting the energetic future of cider across the country we will grow our category, reach out to curious wine, beer and spirit drinkers and grow the love for this marvellous drink. I would like to thank everyone involved.”

The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards at the end of 2019 in collaboration with Westons Cider, Vigo Limited, Darts Farm and The Stable. The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards will be back again in 2022, recognising and celebrating excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK. They are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year who can register their interest now at sandfordorchards.co.uk.

The prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfield, founder Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with a The Stable restaurant, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited and a technical visit to Weston’s cider to quiz the cider makers.

For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram.