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Kay Harris and Sally Booth with the Vigo TrophyOnce Upon A Tree were awarded the "Vigo Trophy" for the second year running for the Best Apple Juice at the Bath & West Show Competition yesterday.

The competition is now the largest of its type in the world, with around 500 entrants competing this year. Judges included industry and trade experts, joined this year by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, who was very complimentary about the quality of the winners!

Simon Day, who makes the award winning juice at Dragon Orchard in Putley, Ledbury, was present to receive the trophy.

To win this beautiful hand carved apple trophy for a second time is testament to the quality of the fruit grown in our area, and reflects the care and attention the growers put into their orchards." explains Simon Day "This year the trophy was won with Spartan single variety apple juice, grown for us by our neighbour Maurice Embrey. We also gained 3rd prize for our blended and most popular juice Russet & Bramley grown here at Dragon Orchard."

All of our juices are from tree ripened, hand picked apples, pressed and bottled within hours of harvesting to capture the aromas and flavours of the variety. There are no secret techniques, just careful handling from tree to bottle – that is what makes them special!"

The juice is available to taste and buy directly from the Once Upon A Tree Shop at Dragon Orchard, or via mail order, or through a number of stockists.

This award follows previous success for the Once Upon A Tree ciders last month at the International Cider Competition, where the company won three awards for best Dry Cider, Best Single Variety Cider and 3rd place Medium Cider.

For the past couple of months, visitors to our Orchard Shop have been able to view the photos entered into our photo competition by the attendees of our Herefordshire Year in the Orchard Photo Day, and vote for their favourites. Voting closed after our Open Farm Sunday event on 12th June, and the votes have now been counted and the results can be announced!

We had several hundred visitors cast votes, and every photo entered had some votes. However the three prize winning photos are:

First Place:

Eric Neal for his monochrome / colour photo of apples in a bushel box:

First Place - Eric Neal

Second Place:

Beverly Walker for this image of chairs in the blossom filled orchard:

Second Place - Beverly Walker

Third Place:

Also to Eric Neal for his monochrome image, taken at the back of one of the orchard barns:

Third Place  - Eric Neal

Congratulations to Eric and Beverly, very well deserved!

Eric wins the £80 mixed case of cider (1st prize) and a £10 voucher (3rd prize) to use in our shop, and Beverly wins a £25 voucher (2nd prize) to spend in our shop.

The winning photos will be displayed in our shop for the remainder of the Year in the Orchard.

Simon Day with AwardsOnce Upon A Tree have gained three awards at the International Cider and Perry Competition held this week at the Hereford Cider Museum.

First place for the Best Dry Cider was awarded to Once Upon A Tree for their 2011 "Marcle Ridge" cider and another first place for the Best Single Variety Cider was awarded for their 2011 "Dabinett" cider. The company also gained a 3rd place in the Best Medium Cider for their new "Tumpy Ground" draught cider

It's no secret that Herefordshire Orchards produce the best apples, and here in our small parish of Putley, near Ledbury, our Dragon Orchard is particularly fruitful! It's my job to look after that quality until it reaches the tastebuds of our customers." said Cider Maker Simon Day "Winning at the Hereford Cider Museum competition is particularly special for us, as we are on home turf and it helps bring recognition to how orchards and cider making continue to define the landscape, culture and communities of our beautiful county."

Demand for high quality Herefordshire Cider is at an all time high, and Once Upon A Tree are seeing sales increase every quarter despite the current economic conditions.


These are ciders particularly well suited to go with food, and as more people are choosing to dine at home, they find that our bottled ciders are an excellent choice to accompany mealtime." explains Simon Day, "As our ciders are made with 100% apple juice, giving natural alcohol levels of 7.0 – 8.5%, I see them as a lower alcohol alternatives to wine, perfect to share with friends over a good lunch!"

The winning ciders are available to taste at the Orchard Shop at Once Upon A Tree in Putley where visitors can enjoy self guided walks through the orchards, currently still in blossom.

Once Upon A Tree were awarded the “Vigo Trophy” for Best Apple Juice at the Bath & West Show last week.

The awards ceremony took place last Thursday 2nd June, attended by Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex in front of the general public, press and members of the cider and apple juice industry.

Simon Day, who makes the award winning juice at Dragon Orchard in Putley, Ledbury, was present to receive the trophy presented by Lord Julian Fellowes who was also one of the judges.

The competition is considered the biggest in the country, and over 400 entries were judged. The Once Upon A Tree Discovery Juice was judged the “Best Single Variety Juice”, and then went on to win “Best in Show.”

The award winning juice was made from Discovery apples picked at the peak of ripeness in September last year, and displays a beautiful hint of pink from the glossy red skins of the apples. The juice is described as a having a delicious hint of strawberry, medium sweet with a refreshing finish.

The Discovery is one of nine different juices we make here at Dragon Orchard," explains Simon Day “and this trophy proves the exceptional quality of apples we have here in the orchards of Herefordshire. It’s my job to look after the flavours as the juice is pressed and bottled, but there is no further intervention – it’s a very natural flavour, and a very natural product!”

The juice is available to taste and buy directly from the Once Upon A Tree Shop at Dragon Orchard, or via mail order through, or through a number of stockists (details available on the web site).

This award follows previous success for their ciders only last month at the International Cider Competition, and national exposure with an on air tasting on BBC Radio 2 with Nigel Barden on the Simon Mayo Drivetime show last week.

Blenheim Superb and The Wonder in the snowOur two new very special dessert products have been launched this week!

Blenheim Superb follows on from the success of our Blenheim Orange Dessert Cider launched last year to critical acclaim. This new vintage sees the introductoin of Laxton Superb apples in the blend which gives the cider a touch more crispness to balance the sweetness to give a refreshing finish to the palate. Tasting note:

Tart apple & honeyed nose, with just a hint of spice. The viscous palate has concentrated flavours of apple, apricot, honey and spiced orange with incredible length to the finish. Intensely sweet, but perfectly balancing acidity to give a refreshing finish. Enjoy as an aperitif, partner with foie gras or pâté, with strong hard cheese, or apple or citrus based desserts.

The Wonder is named after a local landmark - a huge landslip that occurred on the Marcle Ridge in 1575, enveloping a chapel at nearby Kinnaston, that Victorians came from far and wide to view. As well as the local connection, the name seemed appropriate for this unique dessert pear wine, which has never been commercially attempted anywhere before! Conference and Comice pears were used in its production, which gives a unique character to the end product. Tasting Note:

Muted spiced pear aromas with a hint of brioche. A rich, powerful, palate with intense flavours of apricot, quince and a hint of soft caramel. Sweetness, acidity and a long, soft tannin finish are perfectly balanced. Perfect as an aperitif, partner with foie gras or pâté, with blue cheese, or chocolate based desserts.

Our Blenheim Superb and The Wonder are made using icewine prinicples to concentrate the juice prior to fermentation. The potential alcohol of the juice is between 18 - 20 % and has incredible intensity of flavour and aroma. Once the fermentations are stopped, the unfermented remaining sugar gives the products their fruity sweetness.

You can buy a twin bottle mail pack of these two special products for a UK mainland delivered price of £40 - see our mixed case section in our online shop.

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