I was very fortunate to have been born in the Chiltern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty about an hour North-West of London. Famous for its countryside, stately homes and authors Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie and Oscar Wilde, to name but a few, although admittedly not famous for its cider making. Instead, it was my father who brought cider into my life. Raised in the West Country, my Dad started drinking cider most likely well before he could legally set foot inside a pub. As a result, cider was ever-present in our fridge or our garage, and like a precious family heirloom, the love of cider was passed down to me.
When I first started visiting Austria in 2014, the pride taken in and the quality of Austrian produce was immediately obvious. As I was taken around different regions of Austria, I was regaled with stories of local specialities and dishes which I “just have to try”, each more delightful than the last. Yet, nowhere to be found was a glass of my beloved cider. It didn’t make any sense to me that orchards and supermarkets could be filled with delicious apples and yet no one was turning them into cider.
Having well and truly fallen in love with the country, I was left with no choice but to move here, so in 2018 that’s exactly what I did. While cider could now be found more easily on supermarket shelves, the high quality of cider which I had grown used to at home was still missing. Once more I was left with no choice, and thus the Austrian Cider Company was born.