When it comes to food and drink, there are occasions when we all like to stick to what we know, but if you’re down in South Devon it would be a pity to miss out on the unique treats and tipples that are produced within a few miles radius.
Take a look at our South Devon Cookbook for 21 original recipes based on locally-sourced ingredients, interviews with local food and drink heroes, and a comprehensive directory of delicious local eateries.
South Devon’s prowess doesn’t end with food though – did you know there are at least 15 local independent breweries, vineyards, cider makers and distilleries?
Here are five of our locally-based team’s favourite drinks producers from our region:
1. Salcombe Gin
Made using traditional methods, Salcombe Gin combines English wheat spirit, 13 handpicked botanicals and Dartmoor water to create a smooth and perfectly balanced finished product. Using a precise combination of grapefruit, lemons and lime, which are handpicked every morning, gives the gin a refreshing citrus flavour.
You can even make your own bottle at Salcombe Gin School, learning from the masters at your own copper still and developing your own recipe as you go.
Find out more about Salcombe Gin and the school at: https://www.salcombegin.com/
2. Sharpham Wine
From one of the newest entrants to the gin market to one of England’s longest established commercial vineyards, Sharpham wine started its long journey back in the 1960s. Maurice Ash, a Francophile, took ownership of the Sharpham Estate and began experimenting with vineyards and cheese production.
Head Winemaker Duncan Schwabb joined the team in 1992 and the experimentation continued. Madeline Angevine from the French Loire were found to grow best on the south-facing banks of the River Dart, and now 100,000 bottles of their light, fruity wines are sold every year. Due to its refreshing taste and relatively low alcohol content, the best-selling Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve is the perfect accompaniment to a summer lunch.
Why not book a wine tasting tour or reserve a table for dinner at the Vineyard Kitchen, where the menu has been carefully selected to complement the wines made on site?
Sharpham won a swathe of the Taste of the West GOLD awards in 2017. Find out what makes Sharpham special here.
3. Yarde Cider
Based in the village of Stoke Gabriel by the River Dart, Yarde Cider produces all its drinks from apples handpicked on the farm – none of the ingredients come from more than two miles away!
As well as their delicious cider and range of refreshing soft drinks, Yarde also produces an oak-aged cider brandy.
Yarde Cider is a previous recipient of a Taste of the West GOLD award. They also won two SILVER Taste of the West awards in 2016 and were highly commended in 2017’s awards.
Find out more and shop online at: http://www.yardecider.co.uk
4. Salcombe Brewery
In 2011, Salcombe Brewery, formerly Quercus Devon Ales, was purchased by John Tiner and his wife Gerry, after hearing from their local pub landlord that the local area might soon to be without its own supplier of delicious ales.
Tiner plans to develop the Salcombe Brewery Company into a larger producer, using solar heating and ambient underwater temperatures to create an energy-efficient, sustainable business.
Salcombe Brewery’s beers are sold at a wide range of local pubs (locate your nearest here: http://www.salcombebrewery.com/fancy-a-pint/).
You can also pick them up in bottles from several local wine shops.
5. Luscombe Cider
Luscombe Drinks are very well known in South Devon as a producer of delicious, refreshing soft drinks, particularly their lemonade which is a common sight at local dinner parties, barbecues and in many restaurants.
Luscombe also produces an organic cider, which uses a combination of varieties – for aficionados, they include Quench, Tail Sweet, Sugar Bush, Devon Crimson and Slack-Ma-Girdle.
Like Yarde Cider, this delicious local tipple is a world away from the mass-produced varieties you can pick up in any supermarket.
Find out more about Luscombe drinks: http://luscombe.co.uk/
Let us know your local favourites
Which of these producers makes your favourite South Devon tipple?
Paradise for lovers of good food and drink
Find out more on our food and drink pages or see one of these blog articles: