The earliest records of Birtley House and Estate go back to the 12th Century when it was owned by Amesbury Abbey. These early records refer to it as Berkeley House from the Old English ‘Beorc Leah’ which means a clearing in the birch wood. It was a farming estate of some 1300 acres by the 16th century owned by the Street family, who sold it to the Cubitt family in the late 19th century. It was only split up at the end of the 2nd World War when the grandparents of the current owners bought the main house and converted it into one of the most highly regarded Care Homes in the country.
The apple orchard here at the Birtley Estate is planted with around 700 trees of a range of cider apple varieties including Dabinett, Morgan’s Sweet, Brown’s Apple, Michelin, and Harry Master’s Jersey. Each variety brings different characteristics to the blend – sweetness, acidity, body, tannin, colour.
When the apples are ripe it is “all hands on deck” to get them harvested. We benefit from the enthusiastic help of the crew from the halow project, a charity that offers support to young people with learning disabilities on their journey into adult life. To date the apples have been pressed off site but from next year we are expecting a mobile press to come to us. The resulting juice is fermented in tanks here.
When the cider is ready it is taken to Silent Pool for distillation. The 350L copper still, named Juliet, is fired using sustainably sourced hardwood from the local area. The pot itself is modelled on grappa stills featuring a distinctively shaped still head which increases the copper surface area. This style is particularly good for distilling fermented fruit washes like cider.
Our apple spirit is then matured for at least two years in small European oak barrels to give that characteristic warm vanilla note on the palate.
per 500ml bottle
UK mainland postage and packing £5.00 per bottle.
Delivery time is usually 3-4 working days. Royal Mail strike action will slow delivery.
We use Royal Mail tracked postage. The parcel must be signed for by a person over the age of 18.
We regret that we are unable to take orders for overseas delivery.
If you would like to purchase our apple brandy, please complete the form below and we will contact you to arrange payment.