Our Story

Killahora Orchards is a family business founded on an estate dating back to 1750......

Founded by two cousins, Barry Walsh and Dave Watson, with the goal of growing the best rare apple and pear varieties on our Irish soil and to use artisanal techniques to turn them into award winning drinks.

Dave brings a passion for and encyclopaedia-like knowledge of apple and pear trees, while Barry bring the wizardry of fermenting, blending and creating new drinks.

We make everything as naturally as possible with minimum intervention and use wild fermentation.

Everything is handmade on site with 100% fresh juice and we take our time, allowing our products to mature for up to a year to achieve the most complexity of flavour.

Dave’s father Tim who, sadly, recently passed away, managed our Orchards and has spent the past decade renovating them to now include a staggering 148 varieties of rare apples and 48 varieties of perry pear.  Tim helped to plant every single of the 1000 new fruit trees and his influence and legacy is everywhere at Killahora. Our trees have come from all over the world for their unique flavours: Austria, France, USA, UK, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and of course we have native Irish varieties. We grow sweet ones, sharp ones, red-fleshed ones and some that are inedible but are grown for their high tannins.

We can trace our Orchards history back to 1837 where they are shown on an OS map. Today, its’ mossed old boundary wall and the collection of ancient wild apple trees in the hedgerows are obvious testament to its history. We also know that in the late eighteenth century, the three-storey Killahora House on our estate, high up on the hill above the harbour became an unofficial lighthouse and navigating landmark to guide the ships back and forth to Cork harbour.

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Life at Killahora Orchards