Best cider in Australia decided

A special edition cider from Willie Smith’s using 18 different apple varieties sourced from across Tasmania’s Huon Valley has scooped the pool at this year’s Australian Cider Awards.

On Friday night Willie Smith’s was honoured in front of around 100 people at the national awards gala dinner, with its Willie Smith’s 18 Varieties limited edition taking out the Best in Show award.

Judges said the product was very true to type – a medium cider in the traditional style – describing it as “lifted with a lingering fruit flavour and an attractive bitterness on finish”.

Willie Smith’s co-owner Sam Reid said the prestigious award was a great reward for the entire crew at the Huon Valley business, which is based on a fourth generation organic apple farm.

“We couldn’t be happier with this product because it showcases what is great about Willie Smith’s – we are small enough to make really interesting cider but large enough to get it out to enough people to educate and influence the category.”

Willie Smith’s 18 Varieties won three trophies, including Best in Show, Best Cider and Best Australian Cider or Perry.

Orange-based Borrodell Vineyard also won a gold medal with its Heritage Apple Cider while Adelaide Hills business, The Hills Cider Company, walked away with two best in class awards.

Cider Australia vice president Warwick Billings said judges were impressed with the standard on display as they worked their way through 155 entries across 18 classes.

“This year there were almost double the number of medals awarded resulting from a significant increase in bronzes, which indicates that Australian producers are refining their cider making skills,” Billings said.

“With such rapid improvement in the overall quality of our local ciders since the Awards began five years ago, we expect to see even more exceptional Australian ciders in future years.”


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