To say that Alex Hill takes cider making seriously is something of an understatement. A scientist’s attention to cleanliness and detail; an artist’s search for the complexity, interest and truth from a palette of flavours, combine to produce prize winning ciders.
His bottle fermented cider in particular “…..is worthy of comparison with the finest French wines” (Andrew Barr-Sunday Times magazine)
His intention is that you should enjoy his passion…..drink Bollhayes with pleasure, with friends, with something lovely to eat, with a sigh of relief at the end of the day, in celebration, in your garden on a warm summer’s evening or around a December fire with winter cheeses and proper bread.
Ferment… from the latin ‘fervere’ : to boil Fervour… intense passion, from the latin ‘fervere’ : to boil
Bollhayes Cider was established in 1988 by Alex Hill and his late wife Bee. The cider orchard was planted then and in the early years apples were bought from old orchards on neighbouring farms. The bought-in fruit was gradually replaced by the apples from our own orchard, which now provides about 60% of our needs.
Initially nearly all the cider was sold draught, in 5 gallon barrels to enthusiastic traditional cider drinkers and to pubs and festivals. Then, following the lead of James and Cathy Lane of Gospel Green Cyder in Sussex, we began production of bottle-fermented cider, bottling the 1992 vintage in the spring of 1993. By 1994 we had bottled cider to sell and with some modest promotion it was an immediate success. Glowing praise in the press and on TV led to sales in the UK and abroad.
As the years progressed Alex’s day job as the founder and manager of Vigo limited (suppliers of equipment to drink producers) became more and more demanding and time-consuming. The cider business had to take second place. From 2004 until 2013 no cider was bottled. With Alex’s withdrawal from day-to-day involvement with Vigo he can now concentrate on the enjoyable job of making cider.