Isle of Wight Apple People and Places
The Early days at Watergate Road - young trees
Weighting down the branches to shape the tree and increase yield
The Godshill Cider Company
• Godshill Cider Company was established in the late 1970s by the founder, Peter Cramp.
• I took over the company in August 2001 from Peter Cramp
• Production of IOW cider by Godshill Cider Company has increased gradually over the years
• Today we produce approximately 25,000 – 30,000 litres of cider per annum.
• Up until 2001, the cider was made from apples picked all over the IOW, without Godshill Cider Co having it’s own dedicated orchard.
• In late 2001, we planted a variety (see cider making process doc for list of names) of 101 cider apple trees, to form our main orchard at Watergate Farm
• Our cider is now made from the considerable yield from this orchard, as well as other smaller orchards all around the island.
The Cider Making Process
Our traditional cider making process begins in September when the apples are picked from our orchards on the Isle of Wight. Our main orchard, which supplies the bulk of our crop, has a number of carefully selected varieties which give us our distinctive flavour. These are Yarlington Mill, Pig’s Snout, Porter’s Perfection, Somerset Redstreak, Sweet Cleave, Tan Harvey, Taunton Fair Maid, Town Farm no.59, Tremlett’s Bitter & White Alphington. We supplement this with a few other varieties from selected local apple growers, one of which supplies us exclusively with the famous cider apple Kingston Black. The different varieties mature at different times so harvesting continues into October when the late croppers are picked.
In late October, pressing begins. The stored apples are first washed and then milled to produce the ‘pulp’ which is ready for the press. We use the traditional pressing method of building a ‘cheese’ of pulp between wooden frames which are piled on top of each other. The press is then applied and delicious golden apple juice flows into the waiting container. The juice is then pumped to large vessels where the natural process of fermentation begins.
Fermentation takes up to 4 weeks and once finished the new cider is racked off to a maturation vessel where its flavour and character will slowly mature over the next few months.
Our juice and cider is carefully tested for quality and taste at every stage of the process and at the end of maturation, when we are satisfied that it is ready, we blend our ciders to produce the balance and character that distinguishes Godshill cider. Finally, once filtered and bottled, this refreshing drink is ready for you to sample a true taste of the Isle of Wight.
For more information www.godshillcider.co.uk