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01 Sep 2017

Waitrose Introduces Chalkdown Cider

Chalkdown Cider

Waitrose is the first supermarket to introduce Chalkdown Cider, a sparkling cider made from hand-picked Hampshire apples using the same traditional method as Champagne. Launching this week, each bottle takes two and a half years to produce and is made in a single batch each year.

The brainchild of cider maker Piotr Nahajski, Chalkdown’s creation was inspired by Piotr’s career in wine. With a degree in wine production from Plumpton College, Sussex, Piotr caught the bug for wine-making and consequently extended his expertise to the world of cider, applying the techniques he'd learnt to create a new and exciting drink.

Piotr says: ‘Everything that we do is designed to create the purest and most perfect expression of English apples in a cider, from hand-sorting over 250,000 apples to hand-polishing each bottle before it leaves the cider barn.’

‘For me the cider has a terrific complexity despite being quite fine and delicate.  There are layers of flavour – fresh, tangy English apples, followed by baked apples and on the finish a suggestion of baked pastry – almost like an apple pie just ready to come out of the oven.’ 

Sarah Hammond, Waitrose beer and cider buyer, says: ‘I was really pleased to find something as special as Chalkdown Cider, which is a truly innovative and delicious drink. The care and attention Piotr and his team put into each bottle is exceptional and the result is a fantastically unique cider, which we are proud to stock at Waitrose.’

Chalkdown Cider makes an excellent alternative to Champagne or Prosecco.  It's best served chilled in a flute glass and is perfect as an aperitif. It works particularly well with tangy cheeses and dried and cured meats.

In June 2017 Chalkdown Cider was confirmed as winner of the trophy for best bottle conditioned cider in the prestigious International Cider Challenge. 

How is Chalkdown Cider made?
The apples that make Chalkdown cider are grown in the South Downs by family farmer Will Dobson.  All 250,000 apples are carefully hand-picked and sorted. They are then washed, milled and pressed using a traditional-style frame press.  The apple juice is left to clarify then racked off and inoculated with yeast and left to ferment in stainless steel tanks.    After fermentation the cider is left to rest on its lees before being bottled in the spring.  At bottling, a yeast culture and some sugar are added to enable the secondary bottle fermentation. 

The secondary fermentation generates CO2 which is dissolved in the cider and which is responsible for the fine bubbles of the finished product.  After the secondary fermentation is complete the bottles are laid down for 18 months to allow contact between the spent yeast and the cider.  The yeast cells go through a process of autophagy and then autolysis, which add new flavour components to the cider and enhance its mouth feel.  This is part of what makes Chalkdown special and different.
 

For further information please contact the Waitrose PR team at ZPR on 0207 287 5006 or email waitrose@z-pr.com.

Information and prices correct at time of release.  Waitrose customer enquiry number is 0800 188 884.

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