In the 16nth Century the alcoholic drink of choice for most people in Jersey was cider. Cider remained the tipple of the common man untill the 19nth century. In 1839 over 268.000 gallons of Cider were exported from Jersey it was at the time Jersey”s largest agricultural export with up to twenty five percent of agricultural land being given to orchards.
Traditional Cider in Dinard
continued to be produced on a small scale by farms for their own consumption partly because of the seasonal workers from Brittany and Normandy where Cider remained popular. Cider production continued to decline until by 1983 when only 8 farms were making cider and then only for themselves.
Cider Making Festival at Hamptonne
Orchards had been neglected for over a century when the great storm of 1987 decimated what remained of our traditional Cider apple trees. At this stage Jersey came very close to losing what remained of its traditional cider orchards and trees. This created an awareness which remains until today that we should preserve our traditional cider apple varieties and surviving varieties have been preserved and new orchards planted.
Exhibition of Traditional Cider Apples
Some farmers have moved into commercial cider production and cider production is increasing and cider is increasing in popularity again as the tipple of the common man.
The Jersey Cider Festival
Today the Cider tradition is celebrated as a heritage experience and as part of the harvest festivals in Jersey sponsored by Jersey Tourism.