Ten years ago, having worked for a cider producer in Normandy, I realised that, whilst the UK has a long tradition of drinking cider, the craftsmanship of this industry had slowly faded.
With the knowledge that the best cider comes from great apples, I carefully selected our orchard's varieties and set out to create Novar's unique blend, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
In 2020, after years of study, we launched our product: a craft cider with dry, refreshing citrus notes, tannins that deepen its flavour and a light sparkle.
The Highlands has an abundance of apples, but these are primarily acidic apples or cookers! Acidic apples are crucial to cider making on a microbial level, but they lend very little in terms of flavour.
The style of cider I chose to focus on and learnt to make in Normandy requires tannins: phenolic compounds that give cider a depth of flavour which cookers struggle to provide.
I knew, however, that Normandy apples would struggle in Scotland. I could grow Normandy apples in my Highland orchard, but I would struggle to ripen their skins, with their glowing mix of sunflower yellow and sunset reds blossoming from acidic greens. I looked closer to home, and headed down to Hereford, which is well-known for its tannic apples.
When I first started enquiring about growing Hereford apples in the Highlands, I was met with a mix of perplexity and disbelief, until I met John Worle, a renowned apple grower. With John’s help, I planted 21 Hereford apple varieties alongside Highland heritage apples, which is what makes Novar’s orchard unique. Today, the orchard has grown to 3000 trees, and yields a rich harvest that ensures our cider is produced fully in-house.
I hope you enjoy Nøvar and its blend of Highland cookers, vintage Hereford varieties, and inspiration from Normandy.
"In my opinion the best cider in the UK. Can’t wait to see this more available!"
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