Overall drinks winner

Killerton apple juice

At 6,400 acres, with 20 farms and over 200 cottages, Killerton near Exeter is one of the largest estates looked after by the National Trust, and one of Devon’s most innovative producers.

As pure as can be, its moreish sweet-sharp apple juice is pressed using traditional West Country dessert apples grown in the Acland family’s orchards at Killerton. No chemicals are used and the orchards are a real haven for wildlife. Straight after harvesting, the juice is locally made for sale on the estate. Nothing is added, nothing taken away.
 
'Harvesting the apples by hand is a real team effort,' says Fiona Hailstone, Killerton’s Produce Ranger. 'Everyone from volunteers, National Trust staff and locals get involved.'
 
And it’s not just apple juice that benefits from the Killerton ethos. 'All the products we make, including our cider, honey and charcoal, are born from a passion to manage the countryside in a sustainable way,' explains Fiona. 'Any profits from sales go straight back into conservation work on the orchards.'
 
Volunteers operate the 200 year old cider press at Killerton
cider press devon apples orchard killerton

 
Across the 50 acres of orchards, hedges are being restored and now three ‘lost’ orchards will be reclaimed. There are 10 bee hives in the orchards tended by George, at 78 years old the country’s only full-time beekeeper. His award-winning honey is a sell-out in the shop.
 
In all, 100 traditional apple varieties are hand picked from the estate’s orchards. The cider apples are milled through an early 20th century apple mill and juiced using the estate’s 200-year-old hand-cranked press. It all culminates in the Killerton Apple and Cider Festival on National Apple Day, which attracts 7,000 apple and cider lovers every October.
 
Where to buy
Killerton Estate shop
 
Contact details:
fiona.hailstone@nationaltrust.org.uk
01392 883138