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Bollhayes Cider


Clayhidon's sparkling answer to champagne

A magic brew bubbling quietly  in a Clayhidon cellar is being hailed as Britain’s  answer to the finest French champagne.
Bollhayes cider maker Alex Hill is winning hyperbolic reviews from food critics for his revival of cider fermented in bottles, champagne-style.
Oz Clarke, speaking on the BBC’s Food Programme, called it “a very fine cider”.
Martin Hesp wrote in the Western Morning News that it was like sipping a Grande Marque champagne worth £400 a bottle. When Alex offered him a glass in one hand and a slice of Iberico ham in the other,  he said “it was the kind of fabulous combination that I could imagine a multi-millionaire paying ludicrous amounts of money for in a top Michelin restaurant”. You can listen to  Martin’s podcast on this link.
Alex stopped making bottle fermented cider some years ago because of pressure of other work, but he has been building up stocks again and launched a smart new website, where it’s on sale at £12 a bottle. A marketing campaign by Selena Mitford  on Facebook and other platforms,  is helping to develop Bollhayes as an excellent, interesting, lower alcohol alternative to sparkling wines. So interesting, it seems, that this nectar is almost animal: "In a cellar deep in the Blackdown Hills something lies, almost breathing", says the sales line.
Clayhidon website's highly paid food and drink investigator Gareth Weekes has tried the 2013 vintage and pronounces it "delicious" and  "a lot tastier than Prosecco". Apparently it goes down extremely well with home-made cheese straws.
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