In a miserable year for apple growers and cider makers, one hardy traditional West Country variety has provided a little ray of sunshine.
The Kingston Black is usually to be relied on for its unreliability, according to Julian Temperely of The Somerset Cider Brandy Company and Burrow Hill Cider.
However, this year his orchards near Kingsbury Episcopi are heaving with the crisp, deep red fruit in spite of the fact that dozen of other varieties have barely blossomed.
“In a year of doom, the Kingston Black has exceeded our wildest dreams,” said Mr Temperley.
In common with countless other apple growers, Mr Temperley said his Pass Vale Farm has suffered from the terrible weather.
“We have about 40-50 varieties of apples that we grow,” he said, adding that the yield of all but the Kingston Black was down by 50 per cent.
“The Kingston Black is the only variety that is looking anything like normal for this time of year. It has done remarkably in what has been a remarkably bad year.”