Overall Drinks winner 2018: Killerton Estate

Killerton's slighlty sparkling cider

For the second year running, the Killerton Estate was the Overall Drinks winner at the Fine Farm Produce Awards for its Medium Sparkling Cider. This 6,000 acre estate near Exeter is one of the largest we look after, and includes around 50 acres of orchards.

These orchards are home to over 100 traditional apple varieties including the oddly named ‘Slack-ma-girdle’ and ‘Hangy Down’ varieties, with some trees over a century old. Managed naturally, these diverse orchards are a real haven for wildlife and the estate team are passionate about maintaining the trees for their botanical and historic interest, as well as for their harvest.

“Killerton cider is really important to the estate,” said Fi Hailstone, Killerton Produce Ranger. “It’s created by passionate local groups, staff and volunteers who all help us to collect apples from our orchards by hand, before they’re crushed on site using a 200 year old cider press.

“The traditional orchards are vital for biodiversity, so any profits from sales go straight back into conservation at Killerton and have recently helped us to recreate a lost orchard, with new hedges and trees.”

Completely hand-picked, this medium cider scored highly for its full-flavoured, complex character with notes of toffee apple and subtle smokiness.

Killerton Estate produce is used in the restaurant and café at Killerton and is also sold in the shop.