History

History

Handmade drinks from the heart of the countryside

Belvoir Fruit Farms nestles deep in the English countryside in the idyllic Vale of Belvoir, where they’ve been making fruit cordials and presses since 1984, pressing fresh fruit and infusing flowers to mix with spring water.

Renowned for their elderflower drinks, they still use the same elderflower recipe developed by co-founder Mary Manners all those years ago. Originally, all the elderflowers were handpicked from bushes growing around Lord and Lady John Manners’ garden. The whole family helped to make the first batch of elderflower cordial, chopping the lemons and stirring the syrup. Lord John then popped the 88 cases of drinks into the back of his car and went round local farm shops, persuading the owners to buy a bottle here and there.

Today, demand is so high that Belvoir calls on the local community to help with the harvest, picking flowers from their own 90 acres of orchards and from hedgerows in the surrounding countryside.

To achieve the unique taste of Belvoir’s elderflower products, it’s essential to use nothing but fresh flowers. Peverel Manners, Lord John’s son, says: “The secret of a really good elderflower cordial is to use masses of flowers that have been picked in the sunshine when they’re warm and heavy with yellow pollen, then get them into the vat within three hours. This gives the drink its delicate floral taste.”

Over the years, the company has expanded its beverage range to include a wide range of flavours and the brand now produces more than 40 products, many of which have won multiple awards. Belvoir Fruit Farms is still owned and run by the Manners family.

Our timeline

  • 1984

    We start making cordials with initially just the Elderflower in a 750ml or 25 fl.0z. bottle. We sell 88 cases (1056 bottles) to the local fine food stores and farm-shops.

    (picture: Mary Manners picking elderflower)

    1984
  • 1985

    Our drinks are so delicious that by 1985, 3,564 bottles have been sold and lots of people are enjoying out naturally delicious drinks.

    (picture: John Manners picking elderflower)

    1985
  • 1986

    We start making Raspberry Cordial from fruit grown and pressed on the farm and Lemon Cordial made from whole fresh lemons.

    1986
  • 1987

    We launch Bitter Lemon Cordial (no sugar) and Blackcurrant Cordial.

    (picture: Pev Manners picking elderflower)

    1987
  • 1988

    Our sales reach 1,000 cases!

    1988
  • 1989

    We launch Strawberry and Strawberry & Raspberry Cordials sales double to 2,400 cases.

    1989
  • 1992

    Nine naturally delicious flavours are now available.

    1992
  • 1993

    Cordials go into 500ml, 17 fl oz bottles as well as the original 25 fl oz bottle. Sales go past 10,000 cases.

    1993
  • 1997

    Bubbling over with joy at how much people love Belvoir, we launch our very first carbonated drinks.

    1997
  • 1998

    Organic elderflower plantations sown

    1998
  • 2000

    1.3 million bottles sold

    2000
  • 2005

    Sales go past 5,000,000 bottles, over 300,000 cases.

    2005
  • 2009

    Sales go past 700,000 cases. New cordial bottle launched.

    2009
  • 2012

    Sales go past 1 million cases (16.5m bottles), driven by a raft of new pressé launches and the new cordial bottle.

    2012
  • 2014

    Elderflower Pressé Light is launched (our first lower sugar product) and construction of a new factory starts.

    2014
  1. 1984
  2. 1985
  3. 1986
  4. 1987
  5. 1988
  6. 1989
  7. 1992
  8. 1993
  9. 1997
  10. 1998
  11. 2000
  12. 2005
  13. 2009
  14. 2012
  15. 2014