As you can see from their sign, Dunkerton's specialise in the production of the traditional alcoholic beverages Cider (made from apples) and Perry (made from pears). This is not a big operation - quite the opposite: if you want to see inside the tiny, quaint little retail shop you have to ring a bell and someone will appear from the depths of the delightfully informal factory to attend to you. The emphasis is quite clearly on quality rather than quantity. I understand that they only make about 50,000 gallons of cider each year, which is pretty small for a commercial enterprise. About 60% of the raw materials (i.e. fruit) come from their own orchards, adjacent to the factory, and all the rest are sourced from farms within an 8-mile radius.
We found the staff here very friendly and knowledgeable, with a real passion for their product. It took little salesmanship on their part to persuade us to buy a few samples to take away. Regrettably there is no on-site tasting arrangement (which I must say I found surprising).
Did you notice the jar of pickled walnuts? Jane loves pickled walnuts (which you eat much like the more well-known pickled onions), so she couldn't resist buying these. They are doubtless destined to be consumed alongside some of our Monkland cheese...
These were also made at the Dunkerton's premises, using walnuts from the trees dotted around their car-park. So this could be the tree that produced the walnuts that went into that jar. How about that for minimising the Food-miles?
|Green walnuts - past the stage at which they would be nice pickled!|