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Ann & Norman Stanier - owners of Dragon Orchard help bring in the harvest. Our juices are all made from tree ripened, hand picked fruit.
Winners of BBC Food and Farming Best Drinks Producers
From left to right
Simon Day, Norman Stanier, Hannah Day, Pete Brown (Judge), Ann Stanier, Valentine Warner (Awards Presenter)
A sharp cider variety, ready for harvesting!
Three Counties Cider Shop
Our store in Ledbury is stocked to the rafters with not only our own produce, but cider and other drinks from 25+ other local producers from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire (and occaisional guest ciders from further afield!)
We run two novel orchard schemes - Dragon Orchard Cropsharers and a Sponsor a Tree scheme - click on the menu for details
We host a number of tours and events throughout the year, from orchard walks and cider tastings to poetry festival events and more... See our events page for more details.
Ellis Bitter cider apple.
A full bittersweet variety, with lots of tannins and rich flavours - a lovely component in many of our blended ciders
Cool autumnal mornings are perfect for picking. Here, our Blenheim Orange trees are mostly harvested.
Cider apples ripe for harvesting. We allow the fruit to fully ripen on the tree for maximum flavour in the finished cider.
We take great care with our juice apples. These Egremont Russet are destined for our Russet & Bramley juice.
Pressing the apples
Golden juice runs from the press - a modern take on the traditional rack and cloth press. We press about 4 Tonnes per day.
Some of our range photographed in the orchard at blossom time.
Three Counties Cider Shop
Our Three Counties Cider shop can be found right in the centre of our pretty market town of Ledbury - a vibrant town with loads of unique interesting shops, cafés, pubs, and attractions.
Willow Sculptures in the orchard
We offer various events throughout the year, and we regularly host artists and sculptors during The Trumpet Art Trail and H.Art
Winter in the Orchard
Orchards can be beautiful places in snowy conditions!
Herefordshire in general has a long and distinguished tradition of agriculture with worldwide prominence being achieved by its eponymous breed of cattle, Red Streak cider apples, unique perry pears and distinctive hop yards. Our small parish of Putley in particular has further claims to apple growing eminence as within our bounds are six family owned fruit farms. This proliferation of trees which includes apples, pears, plums, cherries and quince makes Putley a magnet for those interested in the best available orchard produce.
The reasons for the fruit growing spreading are many and varied. There was a Roman villa in the village and a Roman road runs just to the east - we can harbour visions of Romans refreshing themselves with local Putley wine. Our gently sloping south facing land is sheltered from cold winds by the Malvern Hills to the east and Bromyard Downs to the north. The Black Mountains to the west provide a Rain Shadow Effect which means that our annual rainfall is about 600mm with about half that falling in the summer - ideal for fruit growing. The Marcle Ridge, also to the west, provides an even better micro climate and its tree lined edge is a wonderful natural wind break. The rich red soil is derived from old red sandstone which weathers to produce a deep moisture retaining soil which, when sympathetically worked and managed, provides a wonderful tree growing medium. These natural advantages combine with a tradition that has evolved from small standard orchards on mixed farms to commercial orchards planted by Squire Riley, who owned the Putley Court Estate in the late 1800s. The coming of the Railway also opened new markets, especially London, the Midlands and the North. The Squires fruit growing legacy meant that, when the Estate was sold after the First World War, Putley was in a strong position to continue this husbandry and that culture continues, thrives and still develops to this day.
Throughout the Parish are remains of cider mills and presses, with the best example being at Lower Court, next to the Church. Here cider and perry was made for the Estate, while just across the Church Meadow was the mill where cereals were ground into flour. This cider making tradition has now been revived by Once Upon a Tree, producing Award Winning Cider and Perry at Dragon Orchard in the heart of the village. The quality and flavours that you can now taste and enjoy amply reflect the natural advantages of the area which produces quality fruit and turns it into outstanding flavours. The ancient arts of the skilled cider maker coupled to modern methods of hygiene and innovative new techniques enable you to enjoy the true taste of Putley.