Whilst we’ve been keeping a close eye on our hop shoots, it’s time for a visit to Thatchers cider apple orchards down on Myrtle Farm…..
Spring is definitely in the air! The apple orchards look really beautiful - the delicate blossom is in full bloom and the bees are buzzing busily.
Chris Muntz Torres, the Thatchers Farm Manager, and his team of expert orchardists look after 500 acres full of apple trees in and around Myrtle Farm - and we think Matthew has his work cut out with 8.5 acres of hops!
Apple trees always need a spell of cold weather to break their dormancy over winter. This year’s low temperatures reset growth and woke the trees. Thanks now to the warmer weather and plenty of moisture in the rich Somerset soil, the trees are working hard to produce juicy apples for Thatchers cider and our very own Hazy Hog cider.
The blossom is about a week later than last year and although it’s too early to predict the harvest, the trees have had a good start to the year!
We took a closer look at two of the cider apples that go into Hazy Hog cider…..The blossom on the bittersweet Dabinett trees is just opening up and showing beautiful pale pink and white blooms. Tremlett’s Bitter is also looking resplendent. As these delicate flowers begin to fade in a couple of weeks’ time, tiny fruitlets will start to appear.
Now it’s over to the bees to do their vital work. Dotted throughout the orchards are 70 hives – home to about two and a half million honey bees, although Chris and the team haven’t counted them exactly! Bumble bees and solitary bees are made welcome too. Pollinating the trees is an indispensable part of the orchard cycle and the ancient art of cider making.
Crafted with friends and fellow family business, Thatchers, our Hazy Hog is a gently sparkling, full-flavoured cider with a fine haze. Made using traditional methods and fermented in oak vats to intensify the flavour, Hazy Hog is made to be enjoyed on beautiful hazy, lazy English summer days….and even the overcast days will become refreshingly cloudy!
Pouring fresh at the Brewery Shop and Tap now. Or available in bottles from the Brewery Shop, alongside our range of Thatchers ciders. If you are in the vicinity of Sandford in the West Country, we thoroughly recommend you book a tour of Thatchers!