Llewellyn`s Premium Cider Vinegars

[Note: In Europe we say ‘Cider Vinegar’, on the other side if the Atlantic it’s known as ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’, a bit like ‘Footpath’ Vs. ‘Sidewalk’!!]

The process of vinegar production is fascinating, and is as old as wine-making itself. The making of vinegar from a fruit wine is the next natural course of action nature will take unless the finished wine or cider is sealed and protected from the naturally occurring vinegar bacteria in the air. Just as an open vessel of fresh-pressed juice, if left to stand, will naturally turn to wine by the action of naturally occurring yeasts, that same vessel of wine will then sooner or later turn to vinegar by the action of naturally occurring bacteria.

The vinegar bacteria are in the air all around us, and when they find wine or cider, they will slowly work on it, turning the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its characteristic very sour taste. Just as wine and cider are processes which naturally preserve a fruit juice in a stable and storable form once they are protected from the air, vinegar itself is also a naturally stable product once it is protected from the air. Not only is vinegar naturally preserved, it is also a powerful antiseptic and preserving agent used for thousands of years to preserve foods by means of pickling.

Vinegar, particularly cider vinegar, has been attributed with many qualities beneficial to health, and countless books and anecdotes have been written on its uses for various complaints and ailments. Not only is vinegar a really healthy addition to one’s diet, it is an extremely useful product in the kitchen, used to add interest and flavour in the preparation of salads, sauces, mayonnaise, marinades, and pickles.

At our orchard, we produce our own finest quality cider vinegar from our own cider. We use a process of aerating the fermenting cider to provide the vinegar bacteria with the all-important oxygen which they need in order to do their job (this is why it is so important to exclude oxygen during the wine- and cider-making process!). At the same time, the fermenting cider is maintained at a temperature of 29°C, which is optimum for the bacteria, and this ensures a clean fermentation and a quality result, with the goodness and the flavours of the vinegar being optimised.