I'm getting a bit nervous about the Vilberie for all kinds of reasons. I've nothing much to blend in to up the acidity of these bittersweet apples, and may have to order a little Malic Acid for the job. I'm also concerned for the condition of the trees, which are already in quite a poor state. When we last visited the orchard, one tree had lost a large branch due to the weight of crop it was carrying, and the crown on another tree has split for the second time. High winds over the next few days could wreak even more damage before we get back to the orchard, and I'm expecting to find most of the crop on the ground. It's much harder work scratching around in the grass for apples, particularly when they're quite small like Vilberies.
Good news: A neighbour let us take all the crop from their mature Bramley Apple trees, not a massive quantity, but a useful bit of sharp juice for the pressing yesterday. We even managed to find enough local apples to fill a couple of small fermenters of Welland Valley Special, including a few pears and some huge yellow apples from down the road in Rockingham village.