Our cidermaker – Simon Akeroyd
Simon’s passion for orchards, apples and cider began when spending his school holidays at his father’s farmhouse in the Calvados region of Normandy, nestled among the lush rolling hills and and cider orchards of France. On their farm was a cider orchard and barn where they produced apple juice, cidre bouche, calvados and Pommeau de Normandie.
Simon was educated at Christ's Hospital in Sussex, before completing a 4 year philosophy degree at Lampeter university, Wales. He went on to study viticulture (vine growing) and onoeology (winemaking) in Sussex. He returned to France and worked on various vineyards and fruit farms. On returning to England he worked for several years on the largest vineyard and winery in Northern Europe before joining the fruit department at the world famous RHS garden Wisley, looking after one of the largest apple collections in the country with over 1000 different varieties of apples. He also proposed and designed the popular Wisley vineyard.
After a career working as a Garden Manager for the Royal Horticultural Society and National Trust, and producer for the BBC, Simon has returned to one of his original passions, making artisan drinks and the conservation of apple orchards and collections.
Simon has also written 23 gardening books, including specialist books on pruning and fruit growing. www.simonakeroyd.co.uk
When Simon isn't writing or making cider, he can usually be found sailing and canoeing on the River Dart and Torbay, and looking after his honey bees. Simon regularly lectures on fruit growing, cider making and gardening too.
Pics below from clockwise from top left, calendar shot for naked gardening, Simon working at RHS Wisley fruit dept aged 21, the cider house in Normandy aged 23, Garden Manager at Coleton Fishacre, Devon, and Simon racking off cider at Yarde's ciderhouse.