Traditional Norfolk cider, perry and juices since 1994
A small farm-to-table company dedicated to producing quality cider, perry and apple juice from locally grown ingredients using traditional methods. Their ciderworks and shop are conveniently situated in the centre of town and boast a beautiful, secluded courtyard with plenty of seating and a full licence – making it a pleasure to try before you buy!
Whin Hill Norfolk Cider was established in 1994 by two friends, Jim Fergusson and Pete Lynn. From humble beginnings making cider from spare garden apples, they decided to purchase 1000 real cider apple trees and some land, and establish their own orchard. After searching for several months, they finally secured a plot of land in the rural Norfolk village of Stanhoe, conveniently located just some ten miles from their base in Wells-next-the-Sea.
Three years later they purchased the beautiful old 18th century barn and outbuildings just off the main car park in Wells where they set up their ciderworks production facility and shop. For the next 15 years, Jim and Pete grew Whin Hill Norfolk Cider into a thriving business with a loyal customer base.
Jim and Pete retired in April 2012 and passed the reins over to Mark and Lisa Jarvis, who continue to run the business with the same emphasis on quality and service their customers have always experienced.
All of the award winning cider and perry produced at Whin Hill is made from cider apples and perry pears that are lovingly nurtured in their own orchards in Stanhoe. The beautiful North Norfolk climate and fabulously rich and fertile Norfolk soils allow for an unrivaled quality of fruit which are harvested each Autumn using traditional methods.
The orchards comprise 10 acres of cider apple trees and a further 3 acres of apples for juicing. This enables them to sell a wide range of products in the shop, ranging from 11 different ciders, perry and apple juices to their own cider vinegar. They also make a wonderfully smooth but potent, Apple spirit (brandy) and even fresh honey harvested from the bees kept in the orchard.
The shop is open from Easter through until the end of October (weekends only in the shoulder months from Easter through to the end of June, and throughout September and October.) Opening hours are 10.30am – 5.30pm.
From the end of September through to Easter, the shop closes and the premises becomes a full production facility turning the annual bumper crop of fruit into the cider, perry and apple juice that will be sold from the shop and on their website the following year.
In addition to producing quality fruit from their orchard, Mark and Lisa aim to provide a natural, sustainable habitat with a rich biodiversity with many different species of flora and fauna. Over the years, they have planted more than 2000 individual native trees and shrubs, and there is an abundance of beautiful, wild meadow flowers including Cowslips, Salad Burnett and Bee Orchids that carpet the orchard in a dazzling array of colours.
They have installed a number of nest boxes within the canopy cover of the orchard and shelter belts used by tits, finches and a tawny owl. There are large colonies of Bumble and solitary bees as well as their own hives of Honey Bees that pollinate the apple blossom each Spring, and a pond with frogs, toads, newts and dragonflies.
They are clearly very aware of the environmental impact of their business and take steps to improve the environment of the orchard and minimise any adverse effects of production and sales. One of their major aims is to reduce their carbon footprint through re-use, recycling, heat recovery and green energy. Even the spent pomace left after pressing and the lees and sediment from fermentation are applied to the orchard as a soil conditioner.
So although your morning-after head may be cloudy, at least your conscience will be clear!
If you’re visiting Wells, be sure to drop in and sample some of Whin Hill’s finest Norfolk cider, perry and apple juices.
Whin Hill Norfolk Cider