The benefit of using named varieties of apples is that the distinctive flavours and aromas of the variety are precisely encapsulated in our juice. Because the fresh pressed juice is bottled directly from the press the true texture of the juice is also preserved. We do not finely filter our juice; it is just allowed to settle before bottling and this results in a naturally cloudy juice. Over time, it is usual for sediment to form in the bottom of the bottle. Before serving, this should be shaken back into suspension to restore the full flavour and texture of the juice.
We are one of only a few farms that produce their own apple juice entirely on the farm. From growing the apples to placing the finished bottles in the boxes, the whole process is carried out at the North Perrott Fruit Farm. This allows us the ultimate confidence that we are producing a genuine and reliable product that will be appreciated by our customers
We now produce 29 varieties of named varieties of apple and pear juices. Predominantly, we produce single variety juices but for various reasons, we also produce several blends. We have found that the majority of apples produce a juice that is either quite sweet or quite sharp. To produce larger quantities of medium and medium dry juices we have experimented with a combination of blends that retain the distinctive characteristics of the varieties but produce an acidity that is suitable for drier palates. Cox & Bramley is our most popular blend. The two varieties complement each other and retain their distinctive characteristics and produce a drink that is suitable for most people to enjoy (this year we have made it slightly drier than last year to answer popular demand). Bramley and Spartan is a slightly drier blend (mostly Bramley) to 'fill in' the medium-dry gap between Cox & Bramley and straight Bramley. This has been very popular with the dry red wine drinkers who require a dry soft drink on certain occasions. Crewkerne and Wincanton Farmers Markets give us the chance to offer free tasting to a wide range of new and existing customers who really appreciate the subtle and sometimes blatant varietal characteristics. The pear juices are also blended with a little Bramley juice to add body and reduce the natural sweetness which can otherwise be a little over powering. It is important to note that farm pressed apple juice is seasonal and not all varieties will be available all year round. Please enquire about which varieties are currently available.
The apples that are used to make Parrett Brand apple juice are all tree picked which means that they will make a cleaner and healthier juice. Once picked, they are kept in cold store until needed for pressing, usually between October and December. In the first stage of the production process the apples are tipped on to a grader and any bad apples are removed. The good apples drop in to a water bath at the base of the mill. An auger takes the apples to the mill, rinsing them with fresh water on the way.
The mill is directly above where the trolley is positioned in front of the press. It's purpose is to shred the apples into a coarse pomace from which the juice can be more easily extracted. The Mill is set to allow the operator to release exactly enough pomace to fill one layer of the 'cheese' at a time. Despite this, building a 'Cheese' can be a messy business as the pomace splashes about.
The 'cheese' is built up using layers of pomace held together in nylon cloths and separated by slatted pressboards. This construction ensures that there is an even pressure throughout the 'cheese'. The photo shows the pomace being leveled within the mould to ensure the 'cheese is stable and well constructed. The corners of the cloth will be folded into the centre and the mould is removed. Another pressboard is placed on the 'cheese' and the next layer is built on top.
We use and old cider press made in the 1930's by Thos.Beare & Sons. It has two trolley beds which enables us to press one 'cheese' while building another. This makes pressing an almost continuous process. This photo shows a 'cheese' as it starts to come under pressure. Juice has started to flow from the edge of the pressboards and is collected in the trolley where it empties into a stainless steel vat. To prevent the juice from oxidising we add a minute amount of Vitamin C at this stage.
From the collecting vat, the juice is pumped into a holding container where it is allowed to settle. This allows any larger particles of apple that may have been pressed through the cloths to settle out and leaves a naturally cloudy juice ready for bottling. As a safety measure, the juice passes through a coarse strainer before being filled into freshly rinsed bottles. All our bottles are made from recycled glass and we have a bottle washer that enables us to re-use bottles if they are returned to us. Finally, the filled bottles are gently pasteurised to ensure a long life.
Before dispatch the bottles are given a final quality check. This is when the shrink caps and labels are applied and ensures that there is a long use by date on all deliveries. We supply to wholesalers, who usually collect from the farm, and we can arrange delivery to larger retailers where there is a cost advantage to them. We operate retail sales through the North Perrott Garden Centre and Farmers Markets where we hold regular tastings and now we can also now deliver cases of apple juice directly by mail order.
Unfortunately, we find glass bottles too fragile to economically send by mail but we are developing a range of 3 litre and 5 litres bags for this purpose. Please see our online shop
We always have our full range of apple juice varieties available at the North Perrott Garden CentreParrett Brand Cox & Bramley apple juice is available throughout the South West in shops restaurants and B&B's too numerous to mention. The following are a selection of stockist: (Please contact us to add your name to the list):
Broadwindsor Craft Shop & Restaurant
Washingpool Farm Shop & Restaurant (Bridport)
Modbury Farm Shop (Burton Bradstock)
Forde Abbey Tea Rooms
Bower Hinton Farm Shop
North Perrott Farm Shop (Crewkerne)
Barleymow's Farm Shop (Chard)
Naturalife Health Store (Crewkerne, Taunton, Sherborne, Dorchester)
White Row Farm Shop (Beckington, Frome)
Dorothy's Tea Room (Hinton St.George)
Stourhead Farm Shop
Greensleeves Nursery (Odcombe)
Crewkerne Farmers Market (3rd Saturday in the month)