Yarde of Cockington


About Yarde of Cockington

Yarde of Cockington is based at Cockington Court and creates award-winning drinks from wildlife -friendly orchards. 

Makers of Fine Sparkling Cider

Yarde of Cockington specialises in high-quality, fine sparkling cider, using the same artisan techniques to add fine bubbles to their drinks as they do in the world-famous Champagne region of France. Yarde of Cockington uses rare, local cider apples such as Paignton Marigold and Bickington Grey, and it takes at least two years from pressing the apples to the release of the vintage. Each bottle is riddled (turned) by hand in French oak pupitres for 6 weeks to remove the sediment created during the secondary fermentation (Méthode Traditionnelle). After disgorging the sediment, each champagne bottle is topped up with a 'dosage' including rare 10 year old Yarde of Cockington cider brandy.

The apples are pressed traditionally, as they have been in Devon for centuries, by wrapping the pulp in cloths, known as 'cheeses'  before squeezing them slowly in the press to maximise flavour and aroma. The ciders are made completely naturally, using the wild yeast on the apple skins for the initial fermentation, with no added sulphites (a common allergy).  The fermentation and maturing process is as non-interventional as possible.  The completely natural process involves leaving the juice to sit on the lees (sediment) for as long as possible for maximum flavour.  (Process called ‘sur lie’ in wine making), before being placed in bottles for the secondary fermentation to take place and create the bubbles.

Traditional Devon flat cider

For those that don't like fine bubbles, but prefer a more traditional Devon cider, Yarde of Cockington also produces a still cider,  called 'Real cider', similar to scrumpy, made from local orchards.

Rewilding range

Yarde of Cockington also create champagne-style Sparkling Wild Wines based on wildflowers and fruits found in orchards, known as their Rewilding range -   such as Sparkling Wild Dandelion Wine, Sparkling Wild Rose Petal Wine, Sparkling Wild Elderflower WIne, Sparkling Blackberry and Apple Wine and Sparkling Wild Nettle WIne.

Rewilding orchards

Rewilding orchards is very much a philosophy for Yarde of Cockington, as a way of conserving both wildlife and Devon's beautiful orchards. Caring and managing orchards is vital for good quality apples. Yarde of Cockington work with local orchard owners to move away from over-manicured, over-managed environments, and instead encourage a return to beautiful, traditional orchards with gnarly old trunks standing among wild meadows, rich in biodiversity,  throughout Devon’s beautiful countryside.  Yarde of Cockington always ensures plenty of apples are left behind in the orchard for the local wildlife to enjoy. The cidermaker Simon is always on the lookout for rare or unusual varieties to make cider from and to propagate for the future. He also likes to take apple pips from the cider press and sow them to create new wildlings.

The Yarde stick of Fine Sparkling Cider is....

  • Wild yeast for primary fermentation
  • Only Bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples. No dessert or culinary apples
  • Nutrients from distinctive Torbay's red soil giving Yarde of Cockington its distinct Torbay flavour (terroir)
  • Only rare local apples used such as Paignton Marigold and Bickington Grey. 
  • ‘Sur lie’ for depth of flavour
  • Battonage (stirring of the lees)  to add body to the cider
  • 10 year apple brandy added to the dosage
  • Artisan and hand-made
  • 100 percent Devon apples
  • Méthode Traditionnelle
  • No watering of cider. Common among many cidermakers. 
  • Year of vintage on each bottle
  • At least 2 years maturing from pressing to drinking
  • All in champagne bottles
  • Champagne bottles riddled in French oak pupitres by hand for 6 weeks.

    Come and visit Simon and Annabel at their small ciderhouse in the Seachange Studios at Cockington Court and learn more about how they make their artisan drinks.

    About the cidermaker

    The cidermaker is Simon Akeroyd, a former BBC producer and Garden Manager for the Royal Horticultural Society and National Trust. He was inspired by his Father’s orchards in the Calvados region of Normandy when growing up where they would make cidre bouche and calvados. (cider brandy). His other inspirations for cider-making include the fictional, travelling cidermaker Giles Winterborne featured in his favourite book, the Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy.  He was also inspired by Johnny Appleseed, the 18th century legend that travelled across America, sowing apple pips wherever he went, to create new varieties and leave a trail of apple trees in his wake.

    After graduating in philosophy, Simon studied oenology (winemaking) and viticulture (vine-growing) in Sussex, and then worked on the largest vineyard and winery in northern Europe.  Simon then became manager of the world famous apple collection at RHS Wisley gardens with over1000 varieties of apples. He is thrilled to have returned to his original passion; creating drinks and happy moments.

Simon Akeroyd 

07591 220391