Meon Valley Cider Medium “Chalk Stream” is a new craft cider, first released in the summer 2016. The apples are hand-pressed, the juice is cold fermented and the cider is bottled near West Meon, which is located approximately 10kms to the east of Petersfield. Meon Valley Cider is made from an blend of local apples grown in the South Downs near Winchester, Hampshire with some bittersweet and some bittersharp apples sourced from orchards in the West Country. The local apples, which comprise 60% of the blend include the varieties Ashmeads Kernel, Cox and Bramley whilst the West Country varieties include Tom Putt, Balls and Golden Bittersweet. As Nigel Johnson of Meon Valley Cider describes it, this is an “east meets west cider” with the acidity of the desert apples being balanced by the lower acidity of the bittersweets which also add tannins to the flavour and structure of the finished cider.
The label features a painting of a typical Hampshire chalk stream featuring Hampshire “locals” the heron, otter and trout and the slogan “Cool as a Chalk Stream”. The first release of Meon Valley Cider is produced in a medium style and is bottled at 6% ABV.
Don’t serve too cold, you’ll lose a lot of the character!