A new gen­er­a­tion of ciders

Berkshire Life - - THE MAN BEHIND THE MENU - WORDS: Sarah Rodi

The month of Oc­to­ber is a time when many cider pro­duc­ers are har­vest­ing their fruit. We meet the man be­hind a new cam­paign pro­mot­ing cider made like wine, from 100 per cent ap­ples or pears...

Imust con­fess I spent many a night dur­ing my younger years drink­ing cans of cheap cider at par­ties. I should prob­a­bly also ad­mit I never re­ally stopped to think about what was in these ciders – and per­haps that was wise, as I’ve since found out it is mainly fruit con­cen­trate and ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers.

Re­cently though I was in­tro­duced to Alis­tair Mor­rell, a wine guru from Maiden­head in Berkshire, and he has opened my eyes to a whole new world of ciders that I never knew ex­isted. I’m talk­ing about ciders like wines, which are fer­mented from 100 per cent Bri­tish ap­ples in­stead of grapes.

Alis­tair has spent more than 30 years work­ing in the wine in­dus­try as a buyer and seller. “My pre­vi­ous job was all about how to bring wine to peo­ple. I lived in Aus­tralia for a year and came back en­thu­si­as­tic about their wine. To­day, Aus­tralia is the big­gest sup­plier of wine to the UK and I am proud to say I was a part of that jour­ney,” he says. Alis­tair and his fam­ily have en­joyed liv­ing in Berkshire for more than 15 years now, and he says he ap­pre­ci­ates the mix of ur­ban and coun­try life.

“Af­ter all these years work­ing in the drinks sec­tor, imag­ine my sur­prise when I dis­cov­ered there are no global stan­dards for cider,” he says. “A wine made from grapes must con­tain 100 per cent grape con­tent with no con­cen­trates, so why shouldn’t ciders and per­ries?”

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