SANDFORD ORCHARDS’ WINS GOLD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CIDER AWARDS

SANDFORD ORCHARDS’ WINS GOLD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CIDER AWARDS

Devon’s Sandford Orchards, producer of authentic cider created by combining tradition and innovation, is thrilled to have won gold at the International Cider Awards for their Sandford Reserve, which is part of their recently launched vintage collection. This is the second highly prestigious international award bestowed on Sandford Reserve since it was released earlier this year, making it officially one of the best ciders in the world.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a gold from the International Cider Awards. Sandford Reserve won the only gold in the medium tannic cider class and this follows hot on the heels of its win at the World Cider Awards. This is truly a great achievement which confirms, what we already suspected, that Sandford Reserve is one of the best ciders around. We are so proud that this cider, made in Devon from apples from our orchards, has taken on and beaten the leading ciders from across the globe.”

The International Cider Awards, launched in 1888, is the ‘Oscars’ of international cider competitions and is one of the oldest competitions that is judged by cider makers. An International Cider Award is recognition, by fellow professional cider makers, that a cider is an outstanding example of its style.
Barny explains: ”This is a peer reviewed award, judged entirely by professional cider makers who have tested some fantastic ciders from across the globe. Amongst this showcase of impeccable products, in the category that represents around 90% of the British Cider Market, Sandford Orchards has marched off with the gold medal. This is the most amazing accolade. We are completely overwhelmed to have received this award. ”

Sandford Reserve (ABV 7.4%), a finest cask-aged cider, is the ‘exhibition’ cider of the recently launched vintage 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 for curry or spicy Asian food.

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 grasslands and its orchards. Crediton’s ‘Redlands’ boast a unique microclimate, sheltered between Devon’s huge moors. Long hours of warm sunshine and mineral rich soils produce the most flavoursome apples for cider imaginable.

Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards produces an award-winning range of core session ciders including Devon Red, Devon Dry and Devon Mist and fruit ciders; blackberry flavoured Fanny’s Bramble, Berry Lane using perfectly ripe raspberries, Old Blossom made from delicate Elderflower and an invigorating and zingy Cider Ginger. Their recently launched vintage cider collection includes Sandford Reserve, a finest cask-aged cider, Apple & Oak, a fresh oak-finished cider and a mighty vat-aged cider named ‘The General’. 

To celebrate this latest award, Sandford Orchards is offering 10% off purchases of Sandford Reserve at www.sandfordorchards.co.uk.

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

SANDFORD ORCHARDS PARTNERS WITH BRISTOL UNIVERSITY TO PRESERVE ANCIENT APPLE VARIETIES

SANDFORD ORCHARDS PARTNERS WITH BRISTOL UNIVERSITY TO PRESERVE ANCIENT APPLE VARIETIES

Award-winning cider maker, Sandford Orchards, is proud to announce that it is working with scientists from Bristol University to identify and preserve ancient apple varieties in their beautiful historic orchards in mid Devon. This ground breaking research aims to fingerprint thousands of cider apple trees in order to locate and propagate unique and threatened varieties.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “Apples are at the heart of everything that we do. Our cider mill is the oldest working mill in the UK and some of our orchards are centuries old. We take our stewardship of these precious natural wonders very seriously and we jumped at the opportunity to unlock some of the secrets of these orchards that have long been forgotten. By mapping our apple trees we will be able to preserve them for future generations, ensure diversity in our stock and secure many more centuries of cider enjoyment.”

Keith Edwards, Professor of Crop Genetics at Bristol University, is leading the new research which aims to identify and map the nation’s traditional cider apple varieties. By punching a small hole in leaves from individual trees, his team is able to collect samples for DNA testing, while geographically tagging the particular tree using the What3Words geo-positioning system.

The team has spent the summer taking DNA samples from hundreds of Sandford Orchards’ apple trees and has been surprised by the varieties being grown in these older orchards in the Crediton area, which has long been famed for its cider.

Professor Edwards explains: “We thought that, being well-established orchards, we might only find a few different cider apple varieties in each, but that has not been the case. We have fingerprinted around 400 samples and I believe there will be a great many different varieties, many of them unique.”

Barny is awaiting the results of the research with bated breath. He says: “By using genetic-fingerprinting techniques we are able to wind back the clock. We can map a particular variety and see where it crops up in places like Devon and Somerset. That allows us to start building the picture so that hopefully we can reclaim some old varieties which make great cider. You only need one apple tree to propagate a whole new orchard so once we have identified key varieties that we would like to increase our stock of we can start planning for the future.”

He continues: “Using the new techniques we will find apples that could be important in changing the type of ciders we make. Each apple variety will behave in a certain way according to the local conditions and, by having a much better knowledge of the rich diversity of trees in our orchards, we might find wonderful cider apples which are ready to take on the challenge of a changing environment.”

As well as the environmental benefits of preserving a diverse range of apple trees for the future, Barny is also thrilled at the prospect of a renaissance of delicious single batch ciders. He explains: “So it might be that we find a tree that is the only one of its kind in the whole country. Or perhaps there’s just one in my orchard but a few elsewhere. The great thing is, because we are mapping the trees, I am going to be able to collect enough fruit from those trees to make a small amount of single-apple cider.”

Barny continues: “ We are keenly awaiting the results of this research but whatever Professor Edwards and his team uncover the outcome can only be positive for the environment and for cider-lovers.”

For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk

SANDFORD ORCHARDS CELEBRATES TWO WINS AT WORLD CIDER AWARDS

SANDFORD ORCHARDS CELEBRATES TWO WINS AT WORLD CIDER AWARDS

Sandford Orchards, producer of authentic cider created by combining tradition and innovation, is thrilled to have scooped two awards at the World Cider Awards for their ‘cider done right’. The General scooped a gold and Sandford Reserve received a silver. Both ciders are from Sandford Orchards vintage collection, which was launched earlier this year.

The World Cider Awards are the global awards selecting the very best in all the internationally recognised styles. They aim to award and promote the world’s best ciders to consumers and trade across the globe.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a gold and silver from the World Cider Awards. We are proud to make cider properly taking a fresh, natural, low impact approach and using the best apples in the world. A huge amount of effort went into creating our new vintage ciders. We were thrilled with the results and it is really rewarding to know that the award judges think our cider is pretty special too.”

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 the vintage 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 for curry or spicy Asian food.

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 grasslands and its orchards. Crediton’s ‘Redlands’ boast a unique microclimate, sheltered between Devon’s huge moors, long hours of warm sunshine and mineral rich soils produce the most flavoursome apples for cider imaginable.

Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards produces an award-winning range of core session ciders including Devon Red, Devon Dry and Devon Mist and fruit ciders; blackberry flavoured Fanny’s Bramble, Berry Lane using perfectly ripe raspberries, Old Blossom made from delicate Elderflower and an invigorating and zingy Cider Ginger.

For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk

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.