Main Promo Images
Ann & Norman Stanier - owners of Dragon Orchard help bring in the harvest. Our juices are all made from tree ripened, hand picked fruit.
Winners of BBC Food and Farming Best Drinks Producers
From left to right
Simon Day, Norman Stanier, Hannah Day, Pete Brown (Judge), Ann Stanier, Valentine Warner (Awards Presenter)
A sharp cider variety, ready for harvesting!
Three Counties Cider Shop
Our store in Ledbury is stocked to the rafters with not only our own produce, but cider and other drinks from 25+ other local producers from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire (and occaisional guest ciders from further afield!)
We run two novel orchard schemes - Dragon Orchard Cropsharers and a Sponsor a Tree scheme - click on the menu for details
We host a number of tours and events throughout the year, from orchard walks and cider tastings to poetry festival events and more... See our events page for more details.
Ellis Bitter cider apple.
A full bittersweet variety, with lots of tannins and rich flavours - a lovely component in many of our blended ciders
Cool autumnal mornings are perfect for picking. Here, our Blenheim Orange trees are mostly harvested.
Cider apples ripe for harvesting. We allow the fruit to fully ripen on the tree for maximum flavour in the finished cider.
We take great care with our juice apples. These Egremont Russet are destined for our Russet & Bramley juice.
Pressing the apples
Golden juice runs from the press - a modern take on the traditional rack and cloth press. We press about 4 Tonnes per day.
Some of our range photographed in the orchard at blossom time.
Three Counties Cider Shop
Our Three Counties Cider shop can be found right in the centre of our pretty market town of Ledbury - a vibrant town with loads of unique interesting shops, cafés, pubs, and attractions.
Willow Sculptures in the orchard
We offer various events throughout the year, and we regularly host artists and sculptors during The Trumpet Art Trail and H.Art
Winter in the Orchard
Orchards can be beautiful places in snowy conditions!
We're proud to announce the release of two new products, to be launched at the Hereford Food Festival on the 25th - 26th October. Read our Press Release Here (PDF)
Ribston Lawn Perry – Traditional Method Sparkling Perry, made with Blakeney Red perry pears grown in an old traditional perry orchard at Ribston Lawn in nearby Much Marcle. This perry has elegance and finesse, with subtle fruit notes and a creamy brioche mouthfeel. Brut style sparkling to accompany a celebration, or partner with light meat dishes or good soft cheeses.
Blenheim Orange – A unique product for the UK, taking the principles of ice-wine production and applying them to apples! Blenheim Orange apples were chosen for their delicate flavour and balance. The juice was frozen and allowed to thaw yielding a terrifically sweet concentrated juice, that was fermented to 7.5% abv leaving very high residual sugar levels. Perfect partnered with dessert, or with good strong hard cheeses.
We're delighted to be named as finalists at this years Flavours of Herefordshire awards again this year. Come and see us at the show and taste our new products on the 25th and 26th October!
13th May 2009 - We've just been awarded the OVERALL CHAMPION'S CUP, CIDER and PERRY for our Kingston Black 2008 Cider at the International Cider and Perry Competition 2009 - Once Upon A Tree has just celebrated its first anniversary. Winning this award has to be the best birthday present possible. After a successful first year of trading, we are planning to grow the company significantly, and this has provided a further boost to our confidence.”
We were also recognised in the awards for presentation for the second year running. The cider is sold in clear wine bottles with wine style labels to reinforce the message that these ciders are ideal to enjoy with food.
It was my intention at the outset of the company to make cider and perry that would accompany and enhance good food & to make ciders to savour!
The Kingston Black has been released for sale. Limited quantities available!
Last year we were awarded Three First Places at the International Cider and Perry Competition 2008
(Producer of the Best Dry Cider, Best Medium Cider and Best Presented Cider or Perry)
Here's a photo of cider maker Simon Day with the awards!
(Thanks to the Hereford Journal for use of the photo)
And we were Finalists for Small Drinks Producer of the Year 2008 (Flavours of Hereforshire) seen here with the Hairy Bikers, collecting our award plaque!
Visit www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/ for more details on the Flavours of Herefordshire, and the abundance of food and drink to be found in our county.
Earlier today (12th May 2010), we were delighted to be awarded 1st place for Best Bottle Fermented Cider or Perry at the International Cider and Perry Competition held at the Hereford Cider Museum. "Sparkling Success" Press Release can be downloaded here.
"This was the first time I had ever attempted to make a perry" explains Cider Maker Simon Day "there is a lot of mystery surrounding perry production and it is certainly more challenging than cider making, but I felt that by following traditional Champagne methods, we could achieve the best expression of flavours, delivered with elegance and finesse"
Ribston Lawn was launched in October last year to critical acclaim, but with limited numbers available it is unlikely to be available for too much longer.
"We have more from the 2009 harvest, but it takes 12 months ageing on yeast lees in bottle to reach a perfect balance of fruit and bready, brioche notes" adds Simon "so come and get it while you still can!"
The Ribston Lawn Perry is an unusual and rather special alternative to Champagne or sparkling wine and has already been selected to be served at a number of foodie weddings, particularly for those looking to source good food and drink locally.
A Herefordshire Year in the Orchard event
10.30am on Saturday 12th March at Once Upon A Tree, Dragon Orchard, Putley, HR8 2RG.
Herefordshire Year in the Orchard aims to help celebrate Herefordshire’s orchard heritage – the landscape they create, the biodiversity they support, the cultural influence they develop, the food they produce and their economic impact on the county.
As part of Herefordshire Year in the Orchard, Once Upon a Tree will be hosting a walk and talk around Putley, to coincide with the re-opening of their shop at Dragon Orchard.
The walk will take in several of the orchards of Putley, and I will be focussing on the rich and varied history of apple-growing within our wonderful Parish”, said Norman Stanier of Dragon Orchard. “Afterwards there will be opportunities for free tastings of our ciders, perries and apple juices at our Orchard Shop!”
The event is free of charge and open to everyone – warm clothing and sensible footwear are recommended. Meet at Dragon Orchard, Putley, at 10.30am. More information on this and other Year in the Orchard events during 2011 is available here
Once Upon a Tree have put together a programme of events for 2011. explains director Simon Day "We begin with ‘The Wonder of Putley’, which will include a walk and talk through local orchards to The Wonder, a huge landslip that occurred on the Marcle Ridge in 1575, enveloping a chapel at nearby Kinnaston. This will be followed by a tasting and talk on the making of its namesake, The Wonder dessert pear wine, which we make at Dragon Orchard from fruit grown in Putley.”The event is free of charge and open to everyone – warm clothing and sensible shoes are recommended. The Once Upon a Tree shop at Dragon Orchard will be open especially after the event, and is open by appointment at other times. The shop will reopen regularly Wednesday-Sunday 10am-3pm on 12th March, to coincide with the next Year in the Orchard event, a History of Orcharding in Putley. More information on this and other events during 2011 is available here.
The awards were presented in front of Herefordshire’s leading players in the food, drink and tourism industries at the Flavours of Herefordshire gala dinner held on Friday 21st October.
The Flavours of Herefordshire Awards Scheme recognises the best use and promotion of local produce, and is judged on the company’s overall performance and ethos as well as the quality of it’s products.
Currently pressing their 5th harvest, this award gives recognition to Once Upon A Tree’s commitment to producing quality produce that celebrates the heritage & culture of Herefordshire orchards and cider-making, whilst creating a sustainable future for its own 22 acres of orchard in Putley.
What an honour! We’re all absolutely over the moon with this award!" said Cider Maker Simon Day “We are incredibly proud of our Herefordshire roots, the landscape and people that make our county so special, and we try our very best to capture the essence of Herefordshire in every bottle, and every pint that we produce!”
“Jean-Christophe was very complimentary and we chatted for some time about how we make our cider and what Herefordshire means to us. He was so impressed, he asked to use our cider in his demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre at the Flavours Festival and he actively promoted them to the audience!”
This year has seen the company gain major awards at the International Cider Competition, Bath & West show, Three Counties Show, and only last week saw their own Dragon Orchard gain an RHS Silver-Gilt award in the inaugural RHS Pomona awards.
It has particular significance to us to win this award during the Herefordshire Year in the Orchard." adds Simon "We have been running Year in the Orchard events every month throughout the year, which have been so successful, we are now considering more for 2012 too!"