Cider apples grow only in the Western regions of England, where the soil and climate conditions are suitable. Herefordshire is the main cider apple growing county, with around 10,000 acres of orchards.
The key elements of the cider apple are the right balance of sugars, acids and tannins which in turn create the special flavours of a traditional English cider. The cider maker refers to them as either, bittersweets, bittersharps or sharps.
45% of all the apples grown in the UK are now used here for cider making. A reducing amount of apple juice concentrate from central European countries like Austria, Germany and Italy is required to make up the shortfall and to blend to produce certain styles of cider.