We always love having visitors to Home Farm and last month we hosted a welcome group from Sheppy's Cider. With their ethos of embracing change and opportunity, last year Sheppy's unveiled their House of Cider - a bigger shop, cafe, bar and restaurant all on their site in Bradford-on-Tone - where of course they sell Quicke's Cheese. When they came to learn all about traditional clothbound cheddar making in Devon, naturally we couldn't resist the opportunity to try out some of their delicious cider.
David Sheppy is the sixth generation of his family to make cider, 200 years on from the very first cider the Sheppy family produced. Much like our own Mary Quicke, David continues to champion traditional methods that have been passed down through the generations, continuing to grow and harvest cider apples on the family's farm in Somerset.
Sheppy's Vintage Reserve Cider
Sheppy's Vintage Reserve Cider is blended from a mixture of bittersweet apples - Chisel Jersey, Yarlington Mill, Stoke Red and Tremlett’s - all home-grown at Three Bridges Farm. The cider matures slowly in vast oak vats, many of which have been in the family for over 100 years, infusing it with a smokey oaky flavour.
A firm favourite of David Sheppy's, the result is a full-bodied vintage cider with a medium-dry finish and a little added sparkle. The tannins in this cider deepen the flavour, giving a satisfyingly long finish and helping it to stand up to our aged cheddar.
The oldest in our range, Quicke's Vintage Clothbound Cheddar is typically matured for 24 months, giving it an outstanding depth of flavour with a temptingly crumbly texture. It's a rich, intense cheddar; the perfect partner to Sheppy's 'Vintage' Cider.
A 'Quicke' history of Vintage Clothbound Cheddar
It's a little-known fact that this cheese is the happy result of a very unhappy event. Back in 2001, when the outbreak of foot-and-mouth prevented any produce entering or leaving the farm, our cheeses sat in the stores far longer than we had planned. Lamenting the loss of a vast stock of cheese, our curiosity got the better of us and we tasted those truckles that had waited there patiently for almost two years. And to our surprise and delight we discovered our best cheese yet. It's turned out to be our crowning jewel: now appropriately named 'Vintage Clothbound Cheddar'.
Our crowning jewel