Hereford & Worcester

Ciderlands Festival marks 'cider region' Herefordshire

Cider, generic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Organisers hope drawing attention to the region's cider production will boost tourism

Cider lovers from around the world have descended on a festival marking Herefordshire's global reputation for production of the fruity tipple.

The county is known by many as one of the best regions for cider in the UK, alongside Somerset and Devon.

Brands including Bulmers and Westons, both based in Herefordshire, will be celebrated during the Ciderlands festival in Hereford.

Organisers hope it will boost tourism to the region.

Image caption Tom Oliver produced artisan cider in a small village in Herefordshire

"The appreciation of cider, which is obvious in countries like Spain, doesn't quite translate to the UK," said artisan cider producer Tom Oliver, who is from the Herefordshire village of Ocle Pychard.

"It would be wonderful to see more culture and tourism oriented towards appreciation of cider."

Ciderlands invited tourism representatives from as far afield as Japan to the festival, which is the first of its kind.

Image caption A number of cider apple varieties are grown in Herefordshire orchards

Gemma Evans, from Westons Cider, said tourism "is happening in other drinks sectors, such as wine and whiskey, so it's only right that we celebrate our regional cider makers in the same way".

The earliest evidence for cider and perry in Herefordshire dates back to the 15th Century, organisers of Ciderlands said, but production in the region really took off when Bulmers began production there in the late 1800s.

Organiser and ciderologist, Gabe Cook, said the festival will "showcase the history of cider making in Hereford" and also the importance of orcharding in the region, which he said forms a key part of the rural economy.

"We've got some of the best cider in the world," he said.

The festival, which includes cider-tasting and events, runs until 12 October.

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