IWSC trophy & gold medal winner Llanblethian Orchards swells Cider Is Wine’s ranks
A Shared Philosophy And A No Compromise Approach Creates True Wines Made From Apples & Pears
Cider Is Wine
Honesty and integrity in food production really couldn’t have a higher position in local and international agendas currently.
This strong consumer sentiment and long-term trend provides a solid base from which to develop ciders, perries into a great consumer-led business proposition following EU – and globally accepted – grape wine-making regulations which require only 100% juice without concentrates.
Cider Is Wine’s mission is not about persuading people that cider and perries are ultimately wine, or indeed the other way around, but it is about changing consumer and trade perspectives about what cider and perry is and how it could – and indeed should – be perceived.
Some have said that 100% juice is not possible, and yet in grape wine production it is, as stated in EU law. With current UK cider regulations allowing a drink to be called ‘cider’ or ‘perry’ with just 35% juice content, all of which can be from concentrate, 100% juice content products – like grape wines – bring a level of integrity and ‘honesty’ that consumers expect – and rightly so.
Says Alistair Morrell, CEO of Cider Is Wine: “Llanblethian Orchards embraces the values that Cider Is Wine holds close: 100% juice not-from-concentrate lying at the core of those (pun intended). Consumers want integrity and honesty from their food and drink and Alex Simmens demonstrates all of that through the ciders that he makes, whilst retaining a creative cutting edge. Being awarded the IWSC trophy ahead of many other entrants just underlines the style and quality of the Llanblethian proposition, as well as the added power to Cider Is Wine to deliver the message to consumers to look again at these wines from apples, pears and other fruits.”
Founded in 2006 by Alex Simmens, originally a committed hobby cidermaker, the aim of Llanblethian Orchards is to produce quality cider and perry from traditional fruit varieties using time honoured methods without the addition of endless chemicals or using industrial processes.
That simple aim has resulted in many awards, the latest being the ultimate accolade of a trophy and gold medal at the recent International Wine & Sprit Competition tasting.
Based in the Vale of Glamorgan, just outside Cowbridge and Llanblethian, the fruit is sourced from their own orchard, bordered by local landmarks, ‘The Three Fields’ on one side, and ‘Mount Ida’ on the other, as well as from other traditional orchards around Monmouthshire and Brecknockshire. The Llanblethian orchard itself consists of over 50 traditional apple and perry varieties, from Wales, the Borders and the South West of England, selected for their disease resistance and vintage qualities, and including some rare eating and cooking apples. The orchard is full of different wildflower species and is managed in such a way as to retain and encourage as much biodiversity as possible, with a no-till, no spray, ‘put-up-with-the-spiky-weeds’ management philosophy to help preserve the native flora and fauna.
Llanblethian’s product quality philosophy is just as straightforward and is all about honesty and transparency: use only 100% fresh fruit so as to retain all the delicate apple flavour compounds, never use ‘fruit’ concentrate (which change flavour and are often stuffed full of preservatives to prolong shelf life), never add water to ‘fiddle’ the ABV, nor use fruit flavours (often chemical-laden). In fact all Llanblethian Orchards ciders and perries have full ingredient labelling, including juice content.
Says Alex: “Llanblethian ciders are born from the land in as pure a form as we can make them. Cider Is Wine is reflective of our ethos and we’re delighted to support its activities to achieve a much higher profile for 100% juice, not-from-concentrate ciders”
Llanblethian Orchards La Petite Grange – IWSC TROPHY & GOLD MEDAL WINNER
Tasting Notes: A lovely golden colour. Aromatic and complex nose and palate. Bruised apple, orange and marmalade notes mix with lovely earthy undertones. This is rich, layered and complex in its dry and long finish.
Food Pairing: Goes wonderfully with venison, beef, game, pork and lamb dishes, also rich vegetarian meals. Or try with a delicious, medium rare, slightly marbled, aged fillet steak.