Thatchers Anticipate Abundant Harvest Amidst Ideal Growing Conditions

Thatchers Anticipate Abundant Harvest Amidst Ideal Growing Conditions
Thatchers Anticipate Abundant Harvest Amidst Ideal Growing Conditions

Thatchers Orchard Prepares for a Record Harvest

In a promising turn of events, Thatchers, the esteemed cider makers, are poised for an abundant harvest this year. Natalina Onofrio brings you the details.

Myrtle Farms, nestled in the heart of Somerset, boasts an impressive array of apple varieties, each fruit exuding vitality and abundance.

With the perfect fusion of acidity and sweetness, these fruits are poised to yield the quintessential cider.

While the British summer may have been less than ideal for most, it has proven to be a boon for the apple orchard at Thatchers’ Myrtle Farm.

The interplay of warm sun and gentle rain during spring and summer has created an optimal environment for an exceptional apple harvest.

Chris Muntz Torres, the adept overseer of Thatchers’ sprawling 500-acre apple orchards in and around Myrtle Farm, remarked, “The good weather in spring meant our apples got off to a good start with an effective pollination thanks [to] our amazing bees.”

Among the early contenders for milling are the Katy apples, whose exceptional performance has prompted an earlier harvest compared to previous years.

Chris elaborated, ”

After Katy, towards the end of September, we’ll begin to see the early bittersweet apples ripen, such as Somerset Redstreak, Gilly and Hastings.”

“Cider apples love a mild autumn to help them ripen slowly and develop their unique flavours.

“With the sun ripening the apples and helping boost the fruit’s natural sugar levels, the recent rain has also been feeding the trees and giving them much needed nourishment.

“Importantly, the warmth of the sun helps develop the tannins in our bittersweet varieties, giving depth and body to our ciders.”

At the outset of the year, temperatures sufficiently dipped, a requisite for apple trees to emerge from their winter dormancy.

This chill-induced growth reset, coupled with the moisture-rich Somerset soil, created an optimal milieu for the production of bittersweet apples.

Chris continued, “At Myrtle Farm, all the signs are right for a bumper harvest this year, in terms of quantity, and just as importantly, quality, meaning the very best and tastiest apples in our ciders.”

Since 1904, the Thatcher family, spanning four generations, has been crafting cider at Myrtle Farm in Sandford, Somerset, in addition to orchards across the West Country.

These orchards exclusively cultivate apples for Thatchers’ diverse range of Somerset ciders. Setting them apart, Thatchers adheres to a meticulous orchard planting program, enabling them to meet escalating demands while fostering enduring partnerships with apple growers in the region, who supply specific varieties.

This profound understanding of apple varietals culminates in ciders endowed with rich flavours and distinctive character, emblematic of the pinnacle of English cider craftsmanship.

This vibrant medley of tastes finds expression in their flagship labels: Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze, and Thatchers Blood Orange.

To ensure a year-round supply of cider, timing the harvest is of paramount importance in Thatchers’ tree-planting endeavours.

Chris elucidated, “We press our apples as soon as they arrive at the farm to capture them at their freshest. So having different varieties that ripen at different times allows us to have a continued supply of fruit from August through to November.”

Thanks to the propitious weather conditions in Somerset, coupled with an unwavering passion for cider-making, Thatchers has witnessed an unprecedented surge in sales, solidifying its status as the UK’s fastest-growing cider producer and reaffirming the county’s legacy as the heartland of cider craftsmanship.

With an exquisite fusion of natural elements and expert craftsmanship, Thatchers stands on the brink of a remarkable harvest, poised to deliver ciders that embody the essence of Somerset’s orchard traditions.

The convergence of heritage and innovation has truly set Thatchers on a course to redefine the art of cider-making.


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