Enjoy free delivery on all orders over £50
We are Fowey Valley, makers of a range of exquisitely crafted, award winning Cornish fine spirits and artisan ciders.
I am Barrie Gibson. Over 30 years ago my wife Geraldine and I began to make our artisan, Cornish cider. We pressed by hand the apples from our six trees and those we received from friends, thanking our willing band of contributors with bottles of cider. In 2012, confident that we had mastered the process, we went commercial and established Fowey Valley Cidery in a beautiful orchard in Golant, on the banks of the river Fowey in Cornwall. Working in an old out-building, with a small and dedicated team, we took three years to perfect our flagship product; a multi award-winning, dry 7.5% champagne-style sparkling vintage cider.
Today, our product range has expanded, the team has grown, and we have
moved into bigger premises. A lot has changed since those first bottles thirty years ago, though our pride and passion in producing artisan cider and distilling exceptional spirits is prevalent with every sip.
How we make
What makes our award-winning spirits so unique?
At Fowey Valley, it’s all about the ingredients. We don’t buy-in mass-produced ethanol. Our spirits are masterfully handcrafted from scratch using premium, fresh west country fruit. The juice from these fruits is pressed and fermented to produce our special base spirit of 7%.
We firstly produce our Eau de Vie, which is distilled to 65% then adjusted back to 40%. Eau de Vie makes a great digestif or mixed into cocktails in place of Vodka or Gin. Some of the spirit is then mixed at a 50% ratio with apple juice to make our wonderful Pommeau, which makes a delicious aperitif at 20%.
The rest of our Eau de Vie is laid to age in new American Oak barrels, made exclusively for us by a cooper in Bulgaria. Each barrel is ‘medium toasted’, meaning that a small fire is lit in each barrel to char the inside ever so slightly. Our Oak-aged cider spirit rests in these barrels for either one or two years, gradually absorbing a mild toasted oak note which mingles with aromas of warming spice and fruit.
We have also perfected other spirits over the years, producing the award-winning Foy Gin and Vodka - each a masterclass in small-batch distilling. To create these premium spirits, we start again with our own 7% alcohol, and distill it several times to make a Vodka of 95%, which is then adjusted to strength. To craft our Gin we begin with our Vodka, which is given another pass in the still before adding our own unique botanicals.
At Fowey Valley, we have a simple vision. This is to produce the finest sipping experience possible, using time-honoured skills and local ingredients that are all grown in this very enchanting corner of the Country.
How we handcraft our spirits
How we make
We take our ingredients seriously. At Fowey Valley, we only use fresh apples from our own orchard and others close by, and absolutely nothing else. We wash the apples three times and reject any we wouldn't eat. We mill the apples into small pieces and then press this ‘pomace’ in our new belt press. About 65% of this is juice, which is then pumped into our 1,500-litre tanks. At the end of each day we add yeast and put it under an airlock for about a year to slowly ferment.
At this stage in the process some of the now-fermented cider is bottled as our award-winning Castledore - a clean, refreshing medium dry and lightly carbonated cider. The rest is put into champagne bottles with a small amount of sugar which kickstarts a year-long secondary
During the third year, the bottles are taken from their resting position
and inverted in what the French call 'pupitres' and every day or so, they are
twisted to encourage the sediment to creep down through the bottle and
come to rest on the inside of the crown cap. When that happens, the cap and top of the neck are frozen and the sediment is disgorged, before a small
amount of sugar is added to sweeten the cider to Brut level.
After a little time to allow for resettling, Fowey Valley's flagship Vintage
Sparkling is ready for you to enjoy.
As you can see, from each ingredient we source, through to the last
touch on the packaging, our processes are done by hand, paying attention
to each small detail, ensuring the utmost quality at every step. So, every time you drink one of our award-winning tipples, you can taste the craft and dedication invested in every bottle.