Woodthorpe is a small scale real cider made by Dick Sheppey at Woodthorpe Hall in Derbyshire.
Woodthorpe Hall, three storeys of mellow stone dating from the around 1630, is down the end of a long country lane going nowhere. It has been in Dick's family since his grandparents bought it in 1926. It is the centre of a farm of around 120 acres, with a similar amount rented, which raises beef cattle. But despite the cider festivities it only possesses a mere dozen apple trees.
Dick rings around, and then collects the apples from the North Derbyshire villages of Holmesfield, Grindleford and Middle Handley. The apples are exchanged for some of his cider. When the harvest is bad he travels to Herefordshire to buy two or three tonnnes.
The apples were originally crushed by hand, but he has progressed to a motorised manglewurzel crusher. The current press was bought from Devon.
Rumour has it that he generally has no idea how strong his cider Owd Barker cider is, but last time he checked it was 10.5%, although when seen at festivals the displayed abv often varies.
Only supplies in polypins.
- Owd Barker - named after an old dry friend of Dicks.
- Ruby Suzie - medium sweet and named after Dick's wife Sue.
- Address: Dick Shepley, Woodthorpe Hall, Fanshaw Gate Lane, Holmesfield, Derbyshire, S18 7WA.
- Tel: (0114) 236 0134 or 07765 098906.