Meet the team behind Highbank Orchards

Rod & Julie Calder-Potts family history has long been connected to land at Highbank Farm. Rod’s great grandfather moved to the area, eventually bought the small farm on which he was living. Rod himself grew up in South Africa but in 1961 his family returned to their Kilkenny roots and purchased the farm from his granduncle. It was renamed ‘Highbank’ after their cherished farm in South Africa. 

The family have a deep respect and connection with nature. They continuously work to enhance biodiversity on the farm. They have built two lakes, planted forestry all around the farm and sowed pollinator friendly flowers. This passion, care and attention to detail is reflected in their harvest and the multi award winning organic, artisan products which Highbank Orchards produce. Using recipes handed down in the family their exceptional apple juice, ciders, balsamic and cider vinegars and move over maple syrup, Highbank Apple Syrup has arrived.

Most recently they have added a distillery to their operation and are already winning awards for their apple spirits.


  • Bridgestone Guide Award 2010 - New Food of the Year for Organic Orchard Syrup
  • Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce Environmental Award 2011
  • Savour Kilkenny Food Producer of the Year 2012
  • Bord Bia National Organic Awards 2012 - Highly Commended
  • Irish Food Writers' Guild Food Award 2013, for their Irish Orchard Syrup
  • McKenna Guide Megabyte Award, Best Alcoholic Drink 2014
  • Eurotoque Ireland Food Award 2015
  • National Organic Chefs Choice Award 2016
  • Irish Food Writers' Guild Environmental Award 2016

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