Monday 14 April 2008

Cider Open Day

Gwynt Opens Doors on Cidermaking.

Wales' largest cidermaker, Gwynt Y Ddraig will be opening their doors to the public over the weekend of the 26th and 27th April for a cider making and tasting weekend. Over the course of the weekend at Llest Farm, Llantwit Fardre, 12 of Gwynt Y Ddraig's award-winning ciders and perries (fermented pear juice) will be available on their bar at Wales' only ciderhouse.

According to Andy and Bill, cider makers at Gwynt Y Ddraig, “This is the third year we have opened our doors to our fans and it's always a popular event with ciderlovers even coming over from England to see how we make our award-winning products. It's also a chance for us to meet our customers and explain the effort that goes into making ciders and perries that have won awards from CAMRA, the Welsh Perry & Cider Society and Taste of Wales”.

As well as cider and perry being available there will also be an apple-pressing demo using the equipment that makes the award-winning Gwynt Y Ddraig ciders and perries. Welsh food will be available at the farm including bread and cheese as well as 100% handmade pork sausages, and beef and Wild Boar burgers from Cegin Crincae. Even homemade cider cakes will be available.

This year will see a number of “single variety” types of cider available at the open day. As the name suggests these are made from only one variety of fruit, often from a single orchard. The most familiar single variety is Kingston Black, which originated in Somerset but has been grown in the Welsh Marches, especially Monmouthshire for well over a century. “We try and source all our fruit from Wales”, continued Bill, “but we can only get three quarters of it from Welsh orchards, the rest comes from Herefordshire and Somerset.”
Other single varieties that will be available at the open day are Strawberry Norman, Brown Snout and Yarlington Mill. Gwynt Y Ddraig will also be showcasing a “Pider” - fermented from both apple and pear fruit.

One cider that cider enthusiasts will be looking forward to is a special 3 year old vintage that has been matured in oak barrels. “It's something special”, says Bill, “We have not tried ageing for this long before but maturing in oak will give this cider a certain flavour and colour that you cannot get normally. We think it's one for the connoisseur”.

As well as the single varieties and the perries, Gwynt Y Ddraig's range of ciders is completed by names such as Dog Dancer, Haymaker, Fiery Fox, Black Dragon, Orchard Gold and Barnstormer. If you are unable to make the open weekend, Gwynt Y Ddraig's products are available throughout Wales at food shows as well as at Tesco, Waitrose and in Brains and Wetherspoons pubs.

Gwynt Y Ddraig Facts:
Gwynt Y Ddraig was founded in 2001 by local farmer Bill George and his nephew Andrew Gronow
450 tons of fruit were pressed last year
Orchard Gold Cider was commended in the True Taste Drink (Alcoholic) awards 2007/8
Gwynt Y Ddraig Farmhouse Sweet was judged “Best Sweet Cider” at the Bath Cider Festival 2008
Gwynt Y Ddraig have previously won Champion Cider and Perry of Britain, as judged by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

Further Information:
Gwynt Y Ddraig Cider Making and Tasting Weekend
Saturday 26th April 11am-7pm
Sunday 27th April 11-5pm
Llest Farm, Llantwit Fardre, Pontypridd, RCT, CF38 2PW

Andy Gronow, Production Director Gwynt Y Ddraig Cider, 0779 106 6257
Bill George, Operations Director Gwynt y Ddraig Cider, 0779 106 6240

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