Somerset is apple country, with the perfect soil and climate for growing apples and making cyder. It has been going on here for centuries. Head out to the small farmlands of Somerset and you’ll spot ancient orchards still dotted about; clumps of mistletoe in the canopy, sheep grazing under the dappled shade of laden trees. Old barns still with the farmer's cyder press within, some still making cyder today. Here at The Newt, we celebrate every aspect of our county’s signature crop; from the sapling to the tree, the fruit, its juice and the final stage: cyder.
Around the time Hadspen House was built, the finest quality cyders were preferred to champagne by sniffy Somerset gentry who knew their tipple. People in our apple-growing regions consumed over a pint a day; at the time, this mildly alcoholic drink was safer than water. Everyone, including children, drank it – even at breakfast! Records show that the secondary fermentation process being used at this time - in glass bottles, sealed with corks - came well before French monk Dom Pierre Pérignon supposedly invented Champagne.
Our cyders are made with 100% apple juice, using slow cold fermentation to release the residual sweetness of this humble fruit. Discover more about cyder making with daily tasting tours, taking you inside our cathedral-like cellar dedicated to the golden drop.
Inspired by the land beneath our feet and the history and tradition of Somerset, we run a seasonal programme of workshops and events. The weekly Journal explores the activities, people and things that excite us. Join us in the garden, tune in digitally, follow Newt News or visit the shop to discover something new.
Explore the Estate
Stay a little longer and enjoy all The Newt has to offer.