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Cotehele set for bumper cider harvest

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 11, 2013

Volunteer Colin Vine picks some Fern Pippins in the orchards at Cotehele

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A perfect confluence of weather conditions has resulted in a huge apple harvest at a National Trust property in Cornwall.

Staff at Cotehele, near Saltash in the Tamar Valley, have just finished harvesting their apple crop after a year which has been ideal for fruit growers.

In all 4,000kg of apples, which are destined to be made into juice, have been brought in – five times the 800kg harvested in 2012.

"To say that it's been a bumper apple season is rather an understatement," said Chris Groves, Cotehele's orchard officer, who attributed the huge crop to the combination of a cold winter, the late spring blossom and a sultry summer.

"Throw in a few days of pruning in January and the bees' hard work in May, and we're now savouring 40,00 kilos of Colloggetts, Queenies, Pig Snouts and many more Tamar varieties all waiting to be pressed into apple juice and sold at the property."

Cotehele, which boasts its own restored Victorian pressing machine, has been renowned for its fruit for centuries.

Its own orchard was first established more than 300 years ago and is home to a diverse range of local varieties from the juicy Pig Snout to the sweet Lady's Fingers. The estate's new "Mother Orchard" was planted in 2007.

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