Rathay's has been made from a 2 acre orchard by retired research scientists Jenny and Graham Blackmore since 1998.
They produce a clear, dry, traditional cider called Rathays Old Goat Dry Cider, made from varieties including Bulmers Norman, White Norman, Tremletts Bitter, Brown Thorn, Yarlington Mill, Foxwhelp and Vilberie, plus single variety ciders from orchard of traditional bittersweet cider apples on a 5 acre smallholding. There are also some very old perry pear trees.
Most of the trees were planted in the 1960s, one or two (including the Moorcroft) are older and some are replacements making a total of 80 trees which produce about 15 tons of fruit every year. Most of the crop goes to a large commercial producer, but a small volume is made into 3,000 litres of Rathays award-winning Herefordshire cider. This drink is produced from a blend of the apples, some are biennial croppers so the quantity of each variety made is different every year. Their cider it is made without additives, the trees are unsprayed and no artificial fertiliser is used and so it is produced to organic standards.
Angora goats graze the orchard except in the last half of the summer when they are moved to a meadow to spare the apples!
They have until recently sent their ciders as draught to beer festivals, but now also sell it bottled in local shops and outlets such as the Hop Pocket Craft Centre in Bishops Frome, the Garden Centre at Wellington and Orchard Hive and Vine in Leominster. You can also collect from the farm by prior arrangement. Contact details below.
Production originally started with "Rathays Old Goat Dry" which is a blended cider. They have also made single variety ciders including "Rathays Balls Seedling", "Rathays Brown Thorn", "Rathays Tremletts Bitter" and "Rathays Yarlington Mill", as well as single variety perries "Rathays Brandy Perry", "Rathays Painted Lady Perry" and "Rathays St Nicholas Perry".
Recently, they've produced two less dry blended ciders called "Yellow Donkey" and "Red Donkey", so called because of the donkey at the farm they collect apples from and the colours of the apples used in each to make each cider.
- Address: Rathays, Sutton St Nicholas, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1 3AY.
- Tel: 01432 880936.
- Email: email@example.com