Ralph of Ralph's Cider

HOW IT BEGAN...

Encouraged by treasured memories of his grandfather,  Ralph decided to follow in his relative's footsteps and have a go at making cider in 1976. But could he match the outstanding quality of his grandfather's ciders? Only time would tell...

 

After moving from Shropshire to Anglesey in 1978 to become a farm manager for Bertram Bulmer (of Bulmer's Cider), Ralph's new found hobby was under threat. There was a distinct lack of cider fruit in Anglesey and within North Wales in general.

After a period of trial and error, the October half term holidays became the annual pilgrimage to visit Radnorshire; specifically, Ralph's cousin's ancient orchard of white Norman apples that were perfectly ripe for picking. The family loaded as many apples as they could onto the Land Rover and accompanying trailer, before beginning the journey to a farm just outside Hereford for milling and pressing.

Once pressed, the precious juice was then poured into a 56 gallon barrel and placed in the back of the Land Rover - before making the journey back to Anglesey, kids and all!

Bertram Bulmer encouraged Ralph to continue producing cider, but with a clause of limiting it to just one barrel a year; as, after all, the farm had work to be done! The cider made back in 1982 was of exceptional quality - so much so that Bertram (quality control) decided to take a bottle back to the laboratories in Hereford for analysis. It was declared the best tasting cider that year - clear and bright, with an alcohol content of 8%! 

Ralph moved to Old Badland in 1986 in order to farm for himself. It was a hard decision to make but, with the backing of his family, it was an opportunity not to be missed. He knew the farm had a small orchard of very old trees, and so began restoring it to its former glory...