There is perhaps an assumption that, as cider-makers, we’ll write lyrically about springtime and blossom (assuming, of course, we have the ability to write lyrically about anything at all) and whilst we do get wildly excited about the emergence of buds and blossom on our fruit trees, my true love lies with the majestic beech tree. There is a week in each spring when the hue of beech trees touches perfection, lime-green that suggests both vigour and innocence, each leaf fringed with minute, delicate hairs; a week earlier it’s too faint and feeble, a week later it’s too dark and mature. This year in Gloucestershire, up on the Cotswolds, that time is now, so that’s where you’ll find me, making excuses to take detours to favourite squadrons of this eye-catching splendour. And I know that the collective noun “squadron” doesn’t do this queen-of-trees any justice whatsoever, so we’ll just enjoy the foliage, concentrate on making cider and leave lyrical invention to those with a true talent for it.
So there you have it. And if you’ve read this far, thank you!