CIDERMAKERS and cheesemongers in the south west were celebrated in honour of Apple Day (October 21). 

Sheppy's Cider, based near Taunton, Somerset, welcomed visitors to their House of Cider to sample their range of products. Guests enjoyed a tour of the orchards and pressing rooms, and also tasted five ciders, which were paired with different local cheeses.

Sheppy's Cider are members of the National Farmers Union (NFU), and three of the cheeses sampled also came from NFU members - Barbers Cheddar from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Dorset Blue Vinny from Sturminster Newton, Dorset, and Cricket St Thomas Brie from Chard, Somerset.

NFU Somerset county adviser Emily Martin said: "Apple Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that our members do within their orchards to supply the country with quality British apples every year.

“To see people enjoying the delicious cheeses and ciders at Sheppy's over the weekend was a brilliant reminder of the hard work that our members in the dairy industry and in our orchards perform year on year.

“The dedication and commitment of our farmers is clearly evident in the high quality and delicious products they produce which is testament to our family farms in Somerset."

Guests enjoyed tasting the following ciders on the day: Sheppy’s Gold Medal Heritage Cider; Sheppy’s Craft Perry Cider; Sheppy’s Cider with Raspberry; Sheppy’s Cloudy Cider and Sheppy’s 200 Cider.

“Horticulture is integral to the South Region, with our producers growing the highest quality, traceable and farm assured fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as having one of the fastest growing sectors within the region - viticulture," added NFU south regional horticulture forum secretary, Katie Davies. 

“The horticulture sector is very ambitious, innovative and is very willing to invest in high-tech and robotic solutions. Every year, our growers are introducing new varieties, novel ways of growing crops, new automation and new ways to reduce the amount of hard work in the sector.

“The UK horticulture sector includes more the 340 different crops, all grown within the UK.”