Rocquette cider have started production of Pomme D’Or, cider apple brandy, and customers are already laying claim to the first limited release to mark this historic event.
A new copper pot still has been installed at the farm for the commencement of the first stage of the process to convert cider to a high strength clear liquid of around 70% alcohol. Manager, James Meller, and Operations Manager, Miguel Gomes will be working on converting 25,000 litres of cider to spirit. This will be broken down into individual distillations of 400 litres and it is possible to do two a day. Their target being to finish the initial distillations by April this year.
Mr. Meller said “First we had to modify the old granite building in order to accommodate the still which was a real challenge. The suppliers said they had never installed a still in such a confined space” “The 33 KW pot reaches temperature of over 100 degrees C so it is an ideal job for this time of year”
The second stage of the process requires a minimum of 3 years maturation in oak barrels. Rocquette Cider have constructed a subterranean cellar below the cider barn which will naturally maintain the barrels at a steady temperature despite seasonal fluctuations outside.
The initial maturation will take place in new French oak toasted barrels for 3 months before being transferred to used bourbon barrels for the remaining time. During the maturation the cider will mellow, take on flavours from the oak and darken in colour.
“I have been working at Rocquette Cider since we started kegging 10 years ago and it is very exciting to be working on another new project” “The smell of apple aromas coming off the still first thing in the morning is really intense” said Mr Gomes.“ The process is quite slow but so far we have distilled 5,000 litres so I think our target is achievable”
Rocquette Cider have over 5,000 trees planted around the farm in the Fauxquets valley which have produced two bumper crops in the last two years. The 2018 harvest generated 151,000 litres of juice which meant the companies storage tanks were all full with very little room to spare.
Mr. Meller said “ It has been a long process. We started planting trees over 20 years ago and I think they might be starting to kick in. Fingers crossed the weather will be kind to us. The cider has been going well and it has given us the confidence to invest further in the business” “ I will be looking forward to celebrating my 53rd birthday with a bottle of our own Pomme D’Or Cider Brandy”.
The limited edition release of 400 cases will be bottled in 2022 after completing its three years maturation. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org