Biddenden Vineyards has launched the UK’s first naturally coloured sparkling cider, Red Love, which is available across Kent, Sussex and South East London.
This follows the arrival of Biddenden’s first range of carbonated 500ml bottled ciders, Biddies, earlier this year. The medium, 5% ABV cider has a natural rosé blush and an intense, crisp apple flavour, owing to the Red Love variety which is naturally red skinned and red fleshed.
Biddenden managing director, Julian Barnes, said: “We are proud to have been exclusively using the Red Love apple since November 2015. The sparkling cider is set to be a successful addition to the Red Love range, which already includes a juice, in one-litre and 250ml bottles, and a still bag-in-box cider.”
The unique single-varietal cider is being exclusively produced in Kent by Biddenden, in conjunction with AG Thames, the only company with the rights to grow the variety in the UK for commercial purposes, and East Malling Research, where the trees are planted.
The Biddies range, including Red Love, has been crafted following the traditional Barnes family recipe, which has been perfected at Biddenden for more than 45 years.
Francis Wheatley, Technical Manager at AG Thames, said: “Other red ciders and apple juices on the UK market tend to be coloured with ingredients, but the Red Love variety naturally produces a beautiful ruby red juice when it is pressed and filtered, giving the cider its special tint.”
Red Love® is a Swiss variety which has been developed over the past 25 years by Markus Kobelt, founder of plant nursery and fruit growers Lubera. Mr Kobelt, who describes Red Love as complex and interesting — a real taste sensation — has cross-pollinated a range of red-fleshed, sweet and disease-resistant apple varieties to create a naturally red-skinned, red-fleshed apple with a crisp and long-lasting taste.