New brand Little Pomona is launching its first ever cider at RAW wine fair this weekend. Founded by Imbibe's beer and cider news editor Susanna Forbes and her husband James, Little Pomona is an organic cider brand that's based in Herefordshire.
'We want to be part of the new wave of cider,' says Susanna Forbes of their aims. The company takes a natural approach to cidermaking, and they state that they are 're-imagining the 17th- and 18th-century glory days, when English ciders rivalled the great wines of Europe'.
Their first release certainly does that. Called Feat of Clay 2015 (7.2% abv), it's a super-dry still cider that would make a great aperitif, with decent grip and high acidity. Green apples and lemons mix with unripe nectarine and nectarine pits, along with some white blossom and a whisper of parmesan. It's a blend of six cider apples, with Dabinett and Foxwhelp making up 85% of the blend, and is a true micro-release, with just over 1,000 50cl bottles available to buy.
Expert Tom Oliver has been consulting with the pair. 'He has taught us to wait until everything is right,' explains Forbes of the production. 'We thought we'd be releasing our 2015 cider last year, rather than 2017.'
The duo take a truly boutique approach in their production, from hand-harvesting and pruning the trees, through to individually picking out the bad fruit, and they have another three releases in the wings: Brut Cremant 2015, a champagne-method cider of just 200 75cl bottles; Old Man & the Bee, a cider focusing on the tannic structure of the liquid rather than the acidity; and Back to Wood, a tank-fermented cider that's been aged in glass and then transferred back to wood.