I am in Kilkenny, in the healthy heart of Highbank Orchards, an organic farm owned and managed by Rod and Julie Calder-Potts. This is excellent land for farming, recognised as such for many centuries - even the Normans had their eyes on it. The farm-yard is 17th century, the house is 19th, and the distillery (which I've come to see) is 21st.
|Rod in the new distillery|
They are transferred then to the apple press, an expensive piece of kit, and the juice is extracted to be used in the delicious products that Highbank now produces: Apple Juice, Apple Juice with Organic Mulled Spices, their famous Orchard Syrup (Ireland's answer to maple syrup and launched in 2010), Highbank Drivers Cider (a delicious, sparkling refreshing non-alcoholic drink), Highbank Proper Cider, and a honeyed Medieval Cider.
|Le Caveau (left) and Bennettsbridge (from the Nicholas Mosse pottery)|