I was originally an arable farmer but diversified into cider making back in 2011 when someone wrote to me asking if I had any apple trees, as they would like to buy the fruit to make into juice. I decided to plant some trees for them. While I was planning the new orchard, the thought occurred to me to try making make my own cider. So I visited the West of England and took some advice from cider makers down there.
I tried out my first batch of cider on a home-made press using apples from neighbouring gardens and from the roadside … admittedly not the best but I had got the bug. So my new orchard was planted with a blend of cider apples and dessert fruit – a blend I still use to this day. The business has continued to grow since then, and I use apples from our own orchards as well as others from Northamptonshire and Herefordshire farmers.
Saxby’s ethos is to produce high quality, authentic cider using fruit from English trees embracing both traditional and modern techniques, for a flavour that can be enjoyed by everyone. Cider doesn’t have to be a large production line drink. Neither does it have to be bland or too niche for the masses.
The tale of the crafty pig
And finally, why do we have a lovely spotted porky pig on our logo? As well as being a natural accompaniment to cider and apples, pigs are also part of the Saxby family’s heritage. Our family used to have a business selling pork pies (a favourite of actor Roger Moore, who allegedly used to eat them on the set of James Bond movies) and sausages. The business traded for over 100 years but sadly closed in 2008. The pig logo is a memento to those days, and we still have (pet) pigs on the farm today.
Take a look at the 2016 harvest on our farm
We would like to say a big thank you to Tom Wilson for shooting our video. Directed and edited by Freddie Groome, and starring Steve, Freddie, Charlie, Philip and Amanda.