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Sully's Cider @ The Old Cheese Factory
The Watkins-Sully family originates from the picturesque Wye Valley, which dissects the two traditional cider and perry making counties of Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire in the UK. They relocated to Australia in the 1980s and in 2007 purchase a disused 1920s Cheese factory in the remote rural district of Reidsdale. Keen to rejuvenate the old factory to, once again, be a hub of local production and passionate about reviving food heritage, the Watkins-Sullys were delighted when they discovered that a cider industry had flourished in the region as far back as the 1860s. With a little investigation they found evidence that other local farms also grew apples for the cider factory and some of these also had remnant orchards. They have now painstakingly documented a wealth of rare and wonderful apples, pears and stone fruit found in remnant orchards throughout the district and have set up a program to find, identify and propagate the regions heritage fruit. Their aim is to create a truly authentic experience by producing a cider using similar techniques and identical varieties as the regions earliest cider makers. They also grow over 30 genuine English and French cider varieties and collect feral fruit that has been identified as having cider apple qualities. The Cooperative harvest apple pressing service run at the Old Cheese Factory, allows local growers to share the labour, enjoyment, and the juice. The apple juice is hand pressed at the Old Cheese Factory using technology that has changed little in over 400 years. Unlike the mass produced alternatives, the juice is intense and full of natural fruit sugars. Other Produce made at the Old Cheese Factory includes a unique range of preserves, pickles, country wines and beverages all handcrafted using locally grown produce.