Winter in the orchards
Here in Armagh, winter is settling into the orchards and the apple trees are going into dormancy, their “winter sleep”. They’ll be taking it easy for the next few months before springtime sees them coming back to blossom. Here at Mac Ivors Cider though, we haven’t been taking it easy. The apples have done their job, now we do ours – making next year’s cider.
Harvest season has passed and with it, a fantastic apple crop. With the warm and dry summer, the sugars in the apples are high, meaning all the better for alcohol! Our Cider orchards are now reaching their fourth year and full production, so lots of Michelin, Dabinett and Harry Masters apples ready to go into our Mac Ivors Dry Cider. Look at those gorgeous colours from earlier in the autumn.
Now for pressing time! Our cider press is in full swing, pressing a whopping 25 000 apples an hour!! Check out our little video here @macivorscider instagram Highlight! The cider varieties have been pressed and now we are on to the beautiful sweet dessert apples such as Golden Delicious, Elstar and Allington Pippin. Perfect for Mac Ivors Medium Cider and for blending with the Cider varieties.
These delicious apple juices are then filled into the fermentation tanks, the yeast is pitched in, and then the magic happens….fermentation. Once the tanks begin to heat up, we know fermentation is starting. The sugars are breaking down, producing alcohol and our apple juice is becoming cider! The apple aromas begin to fill the air, and we’re one step closer to Mac Ivors Cider. In about 1 months’ time then, the yeast has completed its work, and it’s time for racking off.
Our striking stainless-steel tanks, where our juicy Mac Ivors Cider matures.
In the orchards now the leaves are falling off the trees, you can even spot a few lonesome apples still hanging, these make for delicious snacks for the birds who are still around. The trees themselves are water logged at the minute, with all that lovely rain we’ve been having here recently!! But pruning should begin in January, and we start the whole process again – the magic of nature!!