“We don’t make sweet cider, we make proper cider!”
Thornborough Cider is made by hand and takes around 18 months from picking the apples to drinking the first crisp and refreshing glass.
Here’s how it works: First the apples are picked and washed, then they are ‘milled’ to a pulp before being formed layers wrapped in cloth, known as ‘cheeses’. The layers are then compressed under high pressure to extract the juice, which is stored in large fermenting tanks for a full 6 months to allow all of the sugars to turn to alcohol. The cider is the bottled and after a further period of maturing it will be ready to drink.
Why so dry?
Because that’s how we like it!
Also, the easiest and most common way to make a sweet cider is to kill the fermentation by using chemicals (sulphites) or heat (pasteurisation), or to add unfermentable chemical sugars (artificial sweeteners). We don’t want to do any of these things to our cider because we want to be able to taste the apples and nothing else… all 50+ varieties that go into it.
How do you make it sparkling?
Our cider is ‘bottle conditioned’. This means we add a small amount of sugar when we put it in the bottle, allowing the fermentation to start again once the cork is on. This fermentation produces carbon dioxide which builds up pressure in the bottle, producing the characteristic ‘pop’ when the cork is released and the bubbles are allowed to form.
Thornborough cider comes in 750ml champagne bottles for sharing as well as individual 330ml bottles. We also produce into 20 litre bag-in-box for festivals and pubs.