Armagh Cider Company has won the Authentic Northern Ireland Experience of the Year Award for its visitor tours at this year’s Northern Ireland Tourism Awards ceremony.
The award, sponsored by Diageo NI, was presented to Helen Troughton from the family-run business at a special black tie dinner event at the Palace Demesne, Armagh.
This was the first time the annual ceremony was held in Armagh, with a wide range of local tourism providers attending. The awards ‘recognise and celebrate the industry’s excellence and innovation’ and were hosted by BBC presenter, Jo Scott, with a special Georgian themed marquee erected in the grounds. “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award,” said Helen Troughton, who launched the business with her husband Philip, back in 2006. “It was wonderful just to be shortlisted alongside the other businesses in our category, so winning is the icing on the cake.
“We take great pride in making our tours the very best they can be, giving visitors a true flavour of what we do here at Armagh Cider Company. That’s why we describe our tour as being ‘from blossom to bottle’. We take visitors on a journey from the very start of the cider making process, in the orchard, right through to the final stages in the ‘cidery’ and bottling hall. We do everything ourselves on our family farm and are so pleased that people enjoy the touring experience.”
The award-winning Tours of Armagh Cider take place on the family farm at Ballinteggart, based just outside Portadown in Co Armagh, where the Troughton family has lived since 1898. Built in 1766, Ballinteggart House is rich with history and many of its stories are woven into the tour to enhance visitors’ overall experience. Mark Troughton, director at Armagh Cider Company, said the award was another great achievement for the family-run business, which recently branched out into mixers. The Troughton’s Raising Spirits range was launched successfully at this year’s Balmoral Show.
“We work hard at Armagh Cider Company to create handcrafted products our customers will love and we put the same amount of work into making our tours informative and enjoyable,” he said. “So, it’s great to get this seal of approval of our tours from Tourism Northern Ireland.”