Cidermakers and cheesemongers celebrated on Apple Day

Apples in a tree

Apple Day – an annual celebration of apples and orchards – was marked by cidermakers and cheesemongers across the South region.

NFU members Sheppy’s Cider welcomed lovers of cider and cheese to their House of Cider in Taunton to sample a range of their ciders and try some locally produced cheese.

Following a tour of the orchards and pressing rooms, guests were guided through a tasting of five ciders, each paired with different cheeses that are also sold on site.

Out of the five cheeses sampled, three came from fellow NFU members – Barbers Cheddar from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Dorset Blue Vinny from Sturminster Newton, Dorset, and Cricket St Thomas Brie from Chard, Somerset.

A great opportunity

NFU Somerset county adviser Emily Martin said: "Apple Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that our members do within their orchards to supply the country with quality British apples every year.

“To see people enjoying the delicious cheeses and ciders at Sheppy's over the weekend was a brilliant reminder of the hard work that our members in the dairy industry and in our orchards perform year on year.

“The dedication and commitment of our farmers is clearly evident in the high quality and delicious products they produce which is testament to our family farms in Somerset."

Sheppy’s Cider is home to 90 acres of orchards growing 30 different apple varieties as well as cider pears which the family started growing in 2020 for perry ciders.

From humble beginnings over 200 years ago, Sheppy’s has become a household name. Six generations of the family have been cider makers and the form sold 2.2 million bottles last year.

An ambitious sector

NFU South regional horticulture forum secretary Katie Davies said: “Horticulture is integral to the South Region, with our producers growing the highest quality, traceable and farm assured fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as having one of the fastest growing sectors within the region - viticulture.

“The horticulture sector is very ambitious, innovative and is very willing to invest in high-tech and robotic solutions. Every year, our growers are introducing new varieties, novel ways of growing crops, new automation and new ways to reduce the amount of hard work in the sector.”

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