Last week the doors of Dorset Sunshine were opened and the cider master, Alastair, gave us a behind the scenes tour and revealed (some) of the secrets behind one of Dorset’s great products!
In an unassuming Farm outbuilding, Dorset Sunshine has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and is looking to produce 50,000 litres of delicious cider in 2019 – a massive increase on previous seasons. But when you try this cider you will understand why the demand is going through the roof.
To produce their cider they use traditional methods and only locally sourced apples from Dorset. This is extremely time consuming, especially compared to the modern technology now available but the quality of their cider makes this worth while. The apples used include a blend of West Country cider apples, such as Dabinet, Yarlington Mill, Chesil Jersey and Harry Masters.
Pressing season begins! Our first 15 ton batch of Dorset cider apples arrived this morning, checkout the video 🙂
Posted by Dorset Sunshine Cider on Wednesday, 26 September 2018
The apples are crushed and pressed using a traditional rack and cloth process at their cider barn. In this method the apple pulp is shaped on a cloth by a frame wrapped up in the cloth and then stacked one on top of the other, with each ‘cheese’ separated by a wooden rack. These racks enable the juice to run out quickly. Although the pressing itself is fast, building the ‘cheeses’ is extremely time consuming, especially when producing the quantity that they are at Dorset Sunshine. For the time being it’s producing fantastic results and Alastair hopes to continue using the rack and cloth for as long as is possible, although it is rare for a producer of this commercial size not to be using the more modern, basket press.
Dorset Sunshine is then fermented using the naturally occuring wild yeasts that are present in the apples. There are no sulphites or other artificial preservatives; “just the juice, the whole juice and nothing but the juice!”
The end result is a well balanced, tasty, natural cider with a hint of residual sweetness and a lovely appley aroma.
Whether you are from Dorset or not, it really is a cider you have to try!