Introducing Little Pomona Cidery & Orchard
It had been a long-held dream of Susanna and James Forbes to make artisanal ciders, so when, in 2014, their dream orchard became available the first steps on a longed-for journey began. Nestled in the North Herefordshire countryside, below an ancient hill fort with views across the Malvern Hills, the five-acre site is home to 120 established trees, comprising four classic cider apple varieties. The first ciders came on-line in 2017, since then Little Pomona Orchard & Cidery has enjoyed an illustrious introduction to the cider market.
At Little Pomona’s foundation, taking inspiration from likeminded producers, is a desire to make, from bud to bottle, ciders and perries of character, that sing the song of harvest and their surrounds, and affect a structured, gastronomic quality.
We are delighted to have partnered with Little Pomona and are excited to begin distributing their unique, naturally-made ciders. Releases are seasonal, and we will begin with six contrasting ciders.
Table Cider, a seasonal blend of different varieties including Browns, Dabinett and Yarlington Mill, is, as the name suggests, an everyday drinking cider, light, crisp and refreshing. Art of Darkness is Little Pomona’s journey into the barrel and beyond. This cider spends 16 months in a mix of former whisky and bourbon barrels before blending and bottling. Disco Nouveau, from the famed Discovery apple - aka Disco - is the first cider from this year's harvest, in a similar manner to Beaujolais Nouveau. Delightfully juicy and pink-tinged in colour, this underwent the briefest of carbonic macerations ahead of fermentation, before bottling whilst still fermenting, and was made as a pet nat. Do It Puritan! Perry Pét Nat uses four varieties of perry pear, briefly macerated and pressed into recently emptied Sauternes and Meursault barrels. Floral, herbal, citrussy and tropical with a funky twang. Do It Puritan! Quince blends apples from Little Pomona’s home orchard with two types of quince and perry pears. An extraordinary, exotic drink, where zesty citrus mingles with spice, yellow fruits and herbs. Finally, there is Col Fondo - Egremont Russet, a cloudy, lees-fermented cider, made in the ancestral style and properly mouth-filling. Melon and blossom on the nose, leading to kiwi, lime and spice.
Col Fondo, Nouveau and Pet Nat will all be familiar to natural wine drinkers, terms synonymous with the world of wine but seldom used in conjunction with cider. Herein lies Little Pomona’s mission statement, their aim being to create culinary ciders with vinous complexity. Scrolling through pictures of their set-up (alas in these times we are unable to take a tour of their wonderful orchard & cidery) you’re immediately struck by the number of barrels; the place doesn’t look unlike a winery.
With the assistance of talented Canadian, Blair Côté, Susanna and James preside over a constantly evolving project, a moveable feast firmly rooted in Thornbury, Herefordshire. Here at Les Caves, we can’t wait to try the future fruits of their labour, as they continue to adopt (and adapt) a progressive, experimental approach to the fermentation of fruit.