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Pilton, England

The mere words, Pilton, Somerset, evoke an image of sun dappled orchards in late summer.

A truly English scene where cider has been made for generations and is integral to the fabric of the community. Into this in 2013 Martin Berkely walked and started making delicate and delicious gently sparkling cider by the ancient method of keeving. No water, no sugar, just patience and apple juice helps develop sublime creations that have as much in common with the winemaking process as anything focusing on the use of wild yeasts, cold cellars and bottle fermentation.

Viticulture

Apples are collected from old cider trees in traditional cider orchards in and around the parish of Pilton.

Winemaking

Keeving is an artisan method for making naturally sweetened cider. Only cider apples are used; no sugar, no water or anything else. The keeving process involves the formation of a pectin gel, which floats to the top of fresh pressed apple juice in translucent tanks. The gel traps nitrogen and is removed. Starved of its essential nutrients, the wild yeast fermentation stops early, leaving natural sugars from the apples themselves to sweeten the cider. The cider is bottled when it is still slowly fermenting, and allow it to develop its own natural tiny-bubble sparkle over a period of 6 months in their Victorian cellar.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Naturally sparkling and sweetened cider.
  • Wild yeast fermentation.
  • Produced by the ancient method of keeving.