Take a seat in our 17th century cider house
Tre-rhew cider: 100% apples, nothing else
Pulping apples before pressing
Checking the strength at the bar
Three generations powered by cider!
Tre-rhew Cider & Perry
It’s said that when the Romans invaded the UK in around 55 BC, they found the Iron Age / Celtic Britons were already drinking a cider-like concoction. To the Celts, apples were a food of the gods and their ‘cider’ was used in rituals to induce altered states of consciousness (it could still work, but we wouldn’t like to say!)
Managed cultivation of apples in Britain began in the 5th century AD, with those Romans, and there’s been a long and treasured tradition of cider making in our area ever since.
SCRUMMY CIDER SINCE 1696
The cider house we use at Great Tre-rhew has been here since 1696, and we guess there was an earlier version on the site before that.
Cider is part of rural life here; every farm had a cider orchard, most had their own cider mill and Jim’s father Trevor even remembers farm hands being paid in cider rather than money.
Until 1959, cider was made here on the farm using our old stone mill and real horse power. The huge, solid stone apple crusher was propelled around an equally solid stone trough by a horse. Later, Jim and his brother Huw used to push it round for rugby practice… no wonder they were good in a scrum!
Back in the day, the cider orchard at Tre-rhew covered over 30 acres. Sadly that went decades ago, but we started re-planting in 2014. We now have 100 healthy young trees, all historic varieties, some of which were originally developed just a few miles from here.
TOTALLY NATURAL; TOTALLY TRADITIONAL
We make our cider – and now our perry – in the traditional way.
It’s 100% apples (or Perry pears)… no added yeast, sugar or water; no chemicals or sprays; and definitely no nasties such as preservatives or colourings.
The natural yeasts on the fruit skins, in the cider house air and in the barrels are all that’s needed for a perfect fermentation; and the sound of burbling barrels is one of our favourites.
Talking of barrels: ours are all aged oak barrels from single malt distilleries in Scotland. And we’ve made our own press here on the farm using planks sawn from a huge oak which grew here for hundreds of years and fell during a storm in 2009.
Until our trees reach the right age, all our fruit comes from old orchards on neighbouring farms. We’re lucky to have found traditional Welsh cider varieties and our latest discovery is prized Perry pears from a historic orchard. This is so special, because Perry pear trees can take up to 100 years to fruit; as the saying goes: “You plant pears for your heirs”.
Go on… try it for yourself (you know you want to!)
There are two ways you can get your hands on some of our scrummy Tre-rhew Cider and Perry:
Come on a cider making course: simply the best way to immerse yourself in all things cider (except the precious liquid itself!)
Pop-in and buy some: we now have our license for farm-gate sales!
You could even join us for a good old-fashioned Wassail in January 2021: check the website (or join Kate on Twitter) for details nearer the time.
Our Orchard Varieties
Harry Master’s Jersey
Landore (Monmouth Green)
Did you know?
Apple trees aren’t native to Britain. They probably originate from the Caucasus region, now Southern Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In the 14th century infants were often baptised in cider, but the church banned the practice (we wonder why?)
1 Day Courses
All things sheep, traditional cider making & a special taste of the good life… discover our courses, check your dates & book online.
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Dates for your diary!
We’ll be out-and-about or hosting events throughout the year and would love to meet you at…
Royal Welsh Show
Llanthony Village & District Show
First Saturday in August
Events here on the farm
January 2024... details to follow
Open Farm Sunday
Sausages & Cider
Dates TBA... watch this space!