Autumn is upon us and the apples are literally falling off the trees! It has been a bumper year with apple volumes exceeding expectations. The advantage of a late Spring was we did not have any frost to potentially kill off the apple blossom. Instead the bees and insects pollinated the flowers leading to this bumper harvest in East Anglia.
The hot weather experienced in June to August has meant increased flavours in the apples and consequently in our cider, possibly the tastiest this century?
The long dry spell though had an adverse affect and that is on the size of the apples. The wild apples and in people’s gardens are noticeably smaller this year given the extended dry spell and the shortage of rain. Commercial apples grown in orchards have not been affected as these are irrigated, typically using boreholes.
We can confirm that this year’s ciders are particularly flavoursome with increase character. Our apples are typically sourced within 10 to 15 miles of Palgrave. A number of people have donated apples this year, in exchange for cider, and we have also bought in apples from local, commercial orchards. The company has carried out 4 pressings to date using about 8 tonnes of fruit!
In 2016 we produced an award-winning perry but then none last year. Given the bumper harvest we have been able to source pears from a number of trees this year including some wild perry pears. Perry pears are quite small, a bit sour to taste but produce good juice although because of their size, you need to pick a lot of them! We are going to call the perry we are presently fermenting Palgrave Perry as we sourced most of the fruit near the Cidery this year. Supplies will be limited as we only produced about 200 litres of perry but the initial tasting looks promising.