Monday, 03 December 2012 12:02
At an awards ceremony held at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday 28th November, Once Upon A Tree were awarded “Best Drinks Producer” at the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2012, narrowly beating two other finalists to the top spot. The company was one of the handful of finalists shortlisted from thousands of public nominations from listeners of the BBC4 Food Programme, You & Yours, and Farming Today.
Raymond Blanc, Valentine Warner, Paul Hollywood, Angela Hartnett and Adam Henson were among the foodie celebrities there to present awards to the 10 Winners across the 9 categories. Beer writer Pete Brown who presented the awards to the Once Upon A Tree team said:
This company is redefining the category, making people think about drinks in a different way… For me, they tell the whole story, from the place where it’s made; where the ingredients are grown, right through to how it is sold…”
After the event, cider maker Simon Day said:
It is such an honour to get this award – the enormity of it is slowly sinking in! The judges seemed to really understand what we’re about and our passion for authentic, real cider, and the links with our community and heritage.” He adds “The world of craft cider making is in very good shape at the moment – there has never been a better time to be a producer… For us it is all about celebrating tradition and heritage here in Herefordshire whilst being innovative in re-connecting the links between good cider and good food”
The news follows just four weeks after opening the Three Counties Cider Shop in the centre of Ledbury. Director Norman Stanier said:
The judges seemed particularly impressed with the shop, and the way it champions cider not only from Once Upon A Tree, but from the whole region, showcasing the range of flavours and styles on offer.”
The company have been overwhelmed by the public response to the news, with messages of congratulations from local residents, business leaders and many of the loyal customers and supporters of the business, who have seen the company grow over the past 5 years.
Simon Day adds:
We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve in a short space of time, and would like to thank those who have bought our cider, perry and juice; those who have taken time to visit the orchard or who have spoken with us at shows; the Dragon Orchard Cropsharers; Tree Sponsors and for the overwhelming support we have had from our local community since we started pressing our first apples just 5 years ago.”
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:00
Announced on Sunday 30th September, on BBC Radio 4's Food Programme, Once Upon A Tree are delighted to be in the final three of the "Best Drinks Producer" category of this year's BBC Food & Farming Awards.
Cook and food writer Valentine Warner presenting the programme said of the finalists:
These are a special bunch! To reach this stage is a major achievement. Over the past four months the judges have been sifting through thousands of nominations to arrive at this shortlist."
Nominations were invited from the general public who were able to say why they felt the nominee deserved recognition in what Jamie Oliver describes as "The Oscars of the food world"
We were astonished when we heard that we had made it to the final three drinks producers, but we are delighted that our traditional and our innovative ciders are getting noticed! " said Cider Maker, Simon Day. "We are all very proud of what we have achieved with the company over the past 6 years since we started pressing our first apples, and we are so happy to be able to represent Herefordshire in these awards."
The winners will be announced at the BBC Food and Farming award ceremony on the 28th November at the NEC in Birmingham. Tickets for the event are free, and can be applied for online at the BBC Food & Farming website.
The good news arrives just as the company start this year's harvest, which is described as "Challenging!" and are also about to open a dedicated Cider and Perry shop in Ledbury, showcasing craft cider and perry from the three counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
The Three Counties are renowned for the quality and range of cider and perry, but it can be difficult to find outlets for some of the smaller producers. We will be offering up to 12 different draught ciders and perries on tap to fill customers own containers, as well as a large range of bottled ciders from over 30 producers in the area." said Director, Hannah Day "we are working hard to get the shop ready for opening by Saturday 13th October"
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 14:20
Once Upon A Tree were awarded "BEST PRODUCER IN HEREFORDSHIRE" at the Three Counties International Cider & Perry Competition, held by the Three Counties Cider and Perry Association during the Three Counties Show each year.
The company gained first place for the Best Medium Perry awarded to their "Priggles" perry. The company also gained a 3rd place in the Best Bottle Fermented Cider for their "Carpenters Croft" traditional method cider.
Cider Maker Simon Day said "Our perries have been improving with time, and to gain a first place for our Priggles Perry in this major competition is just fantastic. We're delighted with 3rd for our in-bottle fermented sparkling cider, which can be a difficult category. To then go on to be named "Best Herefordshire Producer" is just an absolute honour!"
These awards follow the firm's recent successes at the International Cider Competition at the Cider Museum in Hereford and the Royal Bath & West Show.
We are having a sensational year for awards, I'm thrilled that we are getting recognised for our efforts in making the very best ciders and perries in our little part of Herefordshire!" added Hannah Day.
The winning products 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, and a range of locally produced foods, arts and crafts.
Friday, 01 June 2012 13:57
Once 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!"
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.
Friday, 18 May 2012 09:13
Once 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.