SWECA held its winter meeting on Thursday March 20th at Thatchers Cider by kind invitation of Martin and John Thatcher. Sixty five people attended to listen to a packed programme of talks, followed after lunch by a tour of Thatchers cider-making facility.
Thatchers Technical Manager Paul Dockerty gave a detailed presentation entitled Avoidance of Off Flavours in Cider, explaining the types of unwanted flavours that can be produced during fermentation and maturation and their respective causes. Paul emphasised that good hygiene and the avoidance of air contact post fermentation were of paramount importance.
Robert Fovarque, Agronomist with Pearce Seeds, gave a talk entitled Cider Apple Trees - Post Wet Weather highlighting signs to watch for and actions to be taken in the coming weeks and months following this winter's very wet weather. Damage may not be seen until June or July.
During the meeting John Thatcher and Richard Johnson judged members ciders in the first SWECA cider competition. Twenty one ciders were entered and before the presentations John Thatcher remarked that the ciders were of variable quality, some very good.
1st Green Valley Cyder
2nd The Tricky Cider Co.
3rd St Ives Cider
1st Harrys Cider
2nd Shepton Mallet Cider Mill
3rd Worleys Cider
No prizes awarded
Champion Cider - Harrys Cider
The SWECA AGM will be be held on Thursday 25th September at Green Valley Cyder in Devon.