Condiment began life by accident but is now doing big business for family-run firm.

Ostlers is celebrating a sixth annual Taste of the West Award. Picture: Tim LamertonOstlers is celebrating a sixth annual Taste of the West Award. Picture: Tim Lamerton

The owners of Ostlers Cider Mill are toasting success in Taste of the West Awards – for the sixth year in a row.

The family-run Goodleigh business won gold in the sauces and accompaniments category for its cider vinegar.

It was among more than a 1,000 premium South West products to be given the ultimate seal of approval by judges this week.

Ostlers, set up by Peter Hartnoll and now run by his daughter Becci Paterson, ships around 100,000 bottles of its cider vinegar to health food shops all over the country each year.

The four-acre apple orchard was planted in 1990 and the production of cider vinegar began by accident when a lid came off one of the tanks.

But the vinegar – produced using a blend of Michelin, Brown and Dabinett apple varieties – was a hit and production soon overtook regular cider.

“Business is booming,” said Becci. “We still produce some scrumpy but it’s mostly cider vinegar for the health food market. It’s the same recipe we’ve used for the last 30 years.”

Ostlers is self-sufficient for its energy needs and was named an International Green World Ambassador after winning an International Green Apple Environment Award for its cider vinegar project in 2015. In the same year, the business also won the Made in Devon title at the Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) awards.

Click here for the full list of this year’s Taste of the West winners.