Great Taste awards are a big deal for food and drink producers. You can’t bluff your way through based on reputation. You can’t hide behind the best looking packaging. Great Taste awards are blind-tasted, and judged by over 400 of the most demanding palates as belong to a host of food critics, chefs, cooks, expert producers, food writers and journalists. It’s no surprise therefore that Great Taste is most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
So we were rightly thrilled to discover that both our Dabinett and Vilberie sparkling bottled ciders had both received Great Taste Accolades – a ‘faultless’ 2-star and a ‘wow you’ve got to taste this’ 3-star, respectively. But topping that, we then discovered that Vilberie had reached the top 50 of all the food and drink products judged. Top 50. Out of 10,000 entries!
We even got invited to a fancy celebration dinner in the big smoke. It was inspiring to meet the other top 50 artisan producers, all so dedicated to their craft. And we were buzzing to be in a room full of over 300 guests from the world of fine food! The presentation focused on announcing the Golden Forks aka ‘Food Oscars.’ There are 16 of these Great Taste winner-of-winners awards. One for each region in the UK and plus a couple of other speciality categories thrown in for good measure. But we should probably admit that at this point, we were more than happy to focus on enjoying the occasion and the foodie conversation. However the awards presentation progressed and got to the Golden Fork for Wales announcement. Proud as we are of great Welsh food and drink, we were particularly interested to learn the winner of this one. Only here’s the thing. It was us!
As you can tell from this video we were slightly over-whelmed. Ben could not have been happier and Steph was still a bit in shock. It means so much to make our mark with a product we feel so passionate about. Apple County Cider Co. is not just a day-job. It’s right at the centre of the life we’ve made for our family in this place, with these orchards, these trees, these apples. We know that Jimmy would have been chuffed to bits for us and we feel so thankful to him for setting us out on this path. We just hope that, like our Golden–Fork-winning Vilberie cider, the future for Apple County is bright and sparkling!