"I started making cider from cooking and eating apples in the old orchard, then I got to know a cider making couple in Somerset and learned about different varieties. I'm pretty much self taught I'm passionate about cider making and just picked it up."
Nature is at core of orchard business From Bradford Telegraph and Argus
"On the press, we build up a 'cake' using layers of racks and cloths which holds the pomace stable. When we've built eight layers we press the cake and the juice flows out. We get between 40 and 100 litres from one press."
Pure North ciders and juices are sold in pubs in Yorkshire and Lancashire and also at the cider house on Rob's seven acre smallholding.
Rob was an ale drinker who had never tried traditional cider but, inspired by his apple trees, he bought a cider press and visited Ampleforth Abbey, where monks have been brewing for more than a century.
It's a long way from West Bowling, where Rob lived before he discovered the joys of cider making.
Two years ago, Rob and wife Petia expanded the old Ghd Red Straighteners
The range of ciders includes dry, bottle conditioned champagne style, still and oak aged ciders. Apple and pear juice, and cider vinegar, is also produced.
The resulting ciders and apple juices are on offer in the recently opened Cider Press cafe and shop. Run by Rob's business partner Alison Pollard, it serves cider friendly dishes such as local pork sausage braised with spiced cider.
"Cider has been marketed generally as Beats Iphone a summer drink, which is how people tend to think of it. Our range includes a mulling/ spiced cider, which is great at Christmas, or over ice as a summer drink.
"Pressing is based on ancient techniques, using the rack and straw method," says Rob, laying a piece of hesian cloth in a diamond shape on a wooden rack.
Following a centuries old tradition, the local community turns out to help. "We have a wassailing ceremony traditionally it's a pagan festival on 12th Night celebrating the end of the dark season, but we have it in autumn," says Rob.
"They did very well so we went ahead with planting 250 apple and pear trees with different varieties of eating apples, cider apples and perry pears. The orchard is establishing itself very well," says Rob.
orchard by planting a selection of cider apple trees they hoped would adapt to the Pennine climate.
Pressing is a family affair, with Rob's children Sam, 11, and Ellie, eight, helping out.
Now Rob owns Pure North Cider, producing natural cider from a blend of traditional cider apples, using ancient pressing and fermenting methods.
go on too long," says Rob. "Rain is okay the trees like plenty of water. This used to be the biggest apple growing country in the world now it's China."
Fermentation takes place from winter to spring, and all ciders are fermented with natural yeasts. Once fermented, the cider is left to mature, allowing the flavours to develop.
Some of the apple varieties in Rob's orchard have their own story. Bloody Ploughmans is a Scottish apple taking its name Beats Quotes
from a ploughman shot for stealing apples from the laird of the manor. When his widow was handed a barrel of his blood soaked apples, she threw them out, resulting in a bloody orchard.
Draped in garlands of flowers, he and local villagers lift a wassail queen into the boughs of a tree, where she offers a cider soaked piece of toast to the tree spirits.
Once collected, the fruit is washed then fed through the apple mill, which pulps it ready to be pressed.
"It's becoming more popular among younger drinkers," he says.
Rob, who has a marketing services background, says there has been a resurgence of interest in cider in recent years, thanks largely to advertising campaigns for mass produced ciders.
English apple trees start to yield two years after planting. "A frosty winter is good because it kills bacteria, but we don't want the frost to Beats By Dre Wireless Red
The fruit is left to drop naturally, so it achieves maximum sugar content, and harvesting takes place by hand.
"We elect a wassail queen and we light a fire pit and make a lot of noise with pots and pans to bless the trees. Everyone joins in, it's great fun."
"If brewed naturally, cider is less calorific than beer. The Victorians claimed it had weight losing qualities and called it 'slack my girdle'."
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