Woods Cider was first pressed in 2002, after a life long passion to develop a cider without commercial intervention or techniques involved.
It’s hard work, but the commitment numbs the agony of long hours collecting, pressing, storing and fermenting a product that is only ripe for the process for 12 weeks of the year – depending on the weather. It’s an ‘all hands on deck’ attitude to get the job done, and everyone is welcome to join in and go home at the end of a long day with their payment in cider of course!
A non commercial process using old fashioned machinery and techniques warms the heart and produces cider of such unique character, borne from tradition.
Woods Traditional Cider takes on many guises, in fact we have no real idea of its taste, colour and strength until each barrel is tapped. That is the joy of using traditional, non commercial techniques.
We do not add any artificial colourings, flavourings, sugars, sweeteners or sulphates to regulate the taste. Every barrel is subtle in its difference from the next and the rum barrels certainly make an exceptional cider!
Each barrel tapped is its own entity.
Purists will say the old varieties are the best. Maybe this is true but just as essential is the gathering of the apples when they are absolutely right for cider making.
Collecting the ripe apples will begin from September onwards, and can go on until November depending on the summer we have had!
Either by hand into sacks, or machine into trailer, it’s a back-breaking time.
Pressing is a very labour intensive process, scooping apples from a store into a washing tank. There all debris is removed (and rotten uns!) discarded.
The apples are then collected by paddles on the conveyor (the apple-race) and taken up into the pulper. The noise and smell with juice splashing back on your face is exhilarating as you know a well earned drink from the tray of fresh apple juice is nearing.
Then the pulper board is released and the pulp falls into the waiting former and cloth – now we can start the cheese.
Up to ten or twelve layers can be stacked upon each other before the press is ready. The noise slackens off as the enormous pressure is slowly applied by a water powered hydraulic ram, pushing up to squeeze out pure golden apple juice.
The fresh juice is immediately pumped into the waiting barrels which have been cleaned ready to be filled. A cloth bung allows the fermenting froth out but prevents anything else getting in!
Fermenting can take months, and is mostly dependent on the ambient temperature. In the coldest of winters the process will stop and then restart on the first signs of warmth. It is a purely natural process driven by the natural surrounding conditions.
When all signs of movement or fermenting is done, an airtight seal is put into place and maturing in the oak barrels begins…. all to do now is to DRINK! Nothing added, nothing taken away, it’s APPLETASTIC…
…and possibly the best cider in the world.
We attend local weekly farmers markets and visit lots of local shows, festivals and steam rallies throughout the year. We also supply several local pubs who have a loyal customer base.