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I had a great afternoon enjoying some locally made cider down at Hunt’s. They have been making traditional farmhouse ciders since 1805.
We turned up at the farm where there is a little farm shop where you can buy yourself any of the Hunts ciders. After a short wait we were introduced to Mr Roger Hunt who took us on tour himself. We were taken just across the road to a newly purpose built barn where the magic happens.
We were shown the whole process from where the magic starts. Apples are put on a conveyor belt, all the leaves, twigs are removed, the apples fall into the wash and then get pressed.
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The apples are pressed several times squeezing all the juice out and leaving the discarded skins virtually bone dry. The dry skins go one way and all the juicy goodness the other. The skins are collected into a trailer and used elsewhere around the farm and for animal feed, so there is very little wastage if any at all.
They try to keep at least 18 months ahead of stock, so if the seasons apple pickings aren’t great they have sufficient levels to keep up with demand.
Mr Hunt of course was very informative showing us all the ins and outs of the whole process down to the bottling process. After being shown around for about an hour, I for one was quite parched and was looking forward to the tasting session. It would of been nice to have a drink to carry around with us, but then perhaps there’s some crazy health & safety issue that blocks us from doing so.
We were taken back to a barn next to the shop where there’s a bar with all the ciders produced including both still and carbonated versions. It wasn’t long and we were joined by the lovely Christine Hunt who brought with her some pasties for us all and as a bonus being November we got to try the new mulled cider, which she kindly even heated up for us. There’s something about mulled cider and this one certainly smelt like christmas in a glass, well for me it did anyway.
I thought for only £10 it was a great afternoon spent learning and to have the chance to try all the ciders, especially as i’m usually an ale drinker. We even tried mixing them up a little with the dry Bull Walloper 7.2% and adding some Pixie Juice or the Red Head to sweeten it a little, actually turned out quite nice. Mixing all them not so much, but my favourite was the Andsome Bay.
If your interested in doing a tour yourself then I’ve added all the details for you below.
Cider Tours are held at 2pm on Wednesdays. Tours include a walkthrough of the cider production and tastings of Hunts ciders. Tours last around 1 hour. There is a small shop on site where you can purchase cider and apple juice to take home. The shop is open weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
Broadleigh Farm, Stoke Gabriel, Totnes TQ9 6PU.
- As you’ll be drinking you’ll want to arrange a taxi or a friend to take you to and from.
- As you pull into the farm, the shop is located on the left.