About Dunkertons Cider
So in the UK we have a few regulations for cider and perry.
Cider can contain up to 25% pear juice (or perry). Our cider is made from 100% traditional cider apples. And perry can contain up to 25% apple juice (or cider). Our perry is made from 100% traditional perry pears.
Also the ciders and perry’s that reach the market must have a minimum juice content of 35%. We consider this to be very low and to result in a poor quality cider, ours are typically made with 90 - 100% juice content.
Regulations may vary from country to country, even within Europe. So in other countries perry could be 80% apple juice and the rest pear juice may be apple to be legally be called perry. However, if you follow my rules above, 80% apple juice and 20% pear juice would be legally called a cider not a perry in the UK.
Regarding pear cider, sometimes in the UK pear cider isn’t even considered a “cider” and is actually a "made-wine" because it contains under the minimum amount of juice required and also the addition of ingredients (such as pear flavourings) that are not permitted in ‘Cider’.
At Dunkertons we use only only perry pears that are traditional to Herefordshire and the surrounding area. We press them and then make the perry from 100% perry pear juice. We believe that this gives the best flavour and quality. We don’t use any apple juice or concentrates when we are making it either.
We do not control the temperature of the fermentations. We would call it a - 'natural fermentation' rather than a 'temperature controlled or forced fermentation'.
1. We press apples and pump the juice into vats. We try to keep different types (varieties) of apples separate as each apple has its own individual characteristics. Some are more bitter and some more acidic etc.
2. Fermentation - usually happens within the first month. The cider is not racked off of its lees (yeast and trub) until fermentation has finished. This can be up to 1 - 5 months from pressing. We do not temperature control the fermentation, we rely on the natural temperature at that time of year - this is usually quite cold 4-12degrees C.
3. The cider is then racked into vats and then left to mature. This can be any amount of time from 3 to 24 months. Usually the cider is ready between month 3 and 12 of the maturation phase.
4. When the cider is ready, we blend it. We select ciders that are ready and blend them together to create our unique flavour. This is more of an art form than a science and taste buds are heavily relied upon.
Then it comes to the bottling
At this point the cider is bottled and ready for drinking. The cider has already done all of its maturing in the vats.