Sumary of Discover local producers on a makers’ break in Herefordshire:
- ”James Marsden, the outspoken owner of Gregg’s Pit Cider &
- Past this, and along a single-lane dirt track, was the elusive smallholding responsible for supplying fine ciders to Michelin-starred restaurants in London and beyond for upwards of £10 a bottle.
- Legally, James explains, cider only needs to contain 35 per cent apple juice and this can be from concentrate, which keeps some of the most well-known brands in production year-round and their prices extremely low.
- In contrast, James’s ciders are made when the fruit is ready, using natural yeast on the skins, which means it takes almost a year between the apples falling off the tree to the bottles finally being sealed.
- A centuries-old apple tree (Qin Xie)James takes me into one of his orchards, where the original 300-year-old Gregg’s Pit cider apple tree towers majestically.
- As we talk about his cider-making philosophy, the earlier abrasiveness has all but disappeared.