Well at last we have finished making cider for another year.
It has been an unusual and somewhat challenging cidermaking time for us for various reasons.
The local apple crop did not do particularly well despite reports nationally that it was a bumper year for apples. Lack of rain throughout the year saw a marked decrease in size of fruit.
One orchard owner which we have had apples off over several years let us down badly. Despite the communications we had concerning the time of when we were going to come and pick it them up, we phoned them up to inform them we going to come in the next few days and they said it was fine... THEN they rang back to say that someone had already picked them... astonishing behaviour. When I said that we had contacted them etc and their come back was 'well I can't change the past can I???' Errr no sir but you do remember the past. We move on...
Anyway we are pleased with our slight tweak to the cider making process which has made it a lot easier for us. We have not made quite as much juice as we perhaps we would have hoped to do, mind you when apples are plentiful we do make more and it is the same visa versa.
The festive markets we have attended have done very well this year and that is down to not only the fact that we have more ciders to offer this year but the golden bullet is our extra special Mulled Cider. We know it does well at shows when we serve it up, but we have been extremely pleased with the sales of the mulled cider in a bottle. Every show we have done we have run out!!
We have unfortunately failed to get the online shop going for the Christmas market and we apologise for this. There have been several reasons with one being we have been stretched for time regarding trying to do everything with cidermaking and the shows. It is so easy to lose time rather than gaining time. We are well aware that many of you have been disappointed, and we regret this but there is only so much we can do... An online shop is however an important responsibility to operate and we felt that we had to be 100% happy with it. I still do have plans to launch the shop early in the new year which will offer the entire range of ciders that we do! Watch this space.
We have been very pleased with our progress and development over 2011. We have exceeded our plans now being able to offer 6 more ciders in a bottle. We have really enjoyed all of our shows and we do enjoy meeting all of you on the front line! Our customers really do matter to us! This is more than just a business to us - it is a way of life! Thanks so much to all of our customers and may we wish you a happy Christmas and a happy new year!