Autumn has well and truly arrived with the leaves turning vibrant shades of yellow, orange & red, the temperature dropping and the days becoming shorter.
It’s also peak apple & pear harvest time, which means there’s the distinct sweet smell of fruit being pressed in the air at Biddenden. It’s at this time of year that we make our ciders and farm pressed juices, as well as working with a plethora of local farmers & producers pressing & bottling juice for them as well.
We have a network of Kent growers who we have worked with for many years, who grow the very best, orchard ripe fruit for us to use to produce our range. By ensuring that the apples & pears are picked only when perfectly ripe, we know that they will be juicy and packed full of fruity flavour – something which shines through in the finished product.
All of our ciders are made to our own recipe, perfected over three generations. As well as our traditional Strong Kentish Cider, famous across the county and beyond, this time of year our speciality ciders are always very popular. Monks Delight is a spiced cider, perfect for mulling and great for Halloween and fireworks night (even if they may look a little different this year). Special Reserve is an oaked cider and at 13% is best served as a ‘sipper’, as a whisky would be, and is excellent to enjoy in front of the fire. And for those with a sweet tooth, Special Mead is our modern twist on a traditional drink, made using fermented honey & fruit to produce an aromatic, Pyment style wine.
Fruit is arriving here daily at the moment, and if you visit the shop you’re likely to spot apple & pear bins piled high, ready for pressing. The fruit is pressed on our state of the art double belt press, capable of pressing 7,000kg of fruit per hour, with the resulting juice then being pumped into tanks, either for bottling as juice the following day, or for the cider fermentation process to begin.
It’s a really sustainable process, as the only ‘waste’ product is the pulp of the fruit, all of which goes to local farmers to feed cattle & pigs. We’ll continue pressing right up until the end of the year, so it continues to be a busy time at Biddenden!
You can stock up on our full range at our vineyard shop which is currently open Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm (and daily from 14th November when our festive shop opens!) and we’re also still taking orders for home delivery across Kent and nationwide via our online shop.