Red Hill Cider Show

The Australian Cider Awards has been running since 2011. The issue for amateur cidermakers is that entry is only available to commercial producers.

If you are a hobby/home/amateur cidermaker you can enter a show such as the Red Hill Cider Show

https://www.redhillshow.com.au/cider-show/

which accepts entries from both commercial and amateur cider makers.

You have the opportunity of benchmarking your cider or perry against other amateur makers and commercial producers. The particularly valuable aspect is: All entries will receive judging comments”

If you’ve been wondering how your product compares with peers of the same type and/or how you might improve it then those comments may well be valuable.

Check the Red Hill website quoted for details of cost, how to enter, how much to supply etc etc

Cider orchard with dwarf trees?

Up until recently I’ve considered that developing a large scale cider orchard on dwarfing rootstocks is inviting trouble. Commercial eating apple orchards have progressively been planted on the more dwarfing rootstocks. This has been for various reasons: ease of management, ease of harvesting and earlier return on investment figure prominently. The downside is higher initial investment with more trees required per hectare and more infrastructure eg trellising or other support. If the return for cider can justify it, the hand picking of fruit from dwarf trees is vastly easier and quicker than from taller trees. Hand picking of early crops from dwarf trees is similarly justified so as not to compromise early tree training.

With most cider orchards the aim is not to have a particular form of tree but to produce consistent crops of apples for a low unit cost. This is where mechanical harvesting comes in. And mechanical harvesting is the default option for most of the English cider orchard operations. But then most English cider plantings are on semi-dwarf (or larger/stronger) rootstocks.

The issue with dwarf cider orchards is that until recently there seemed little likelihood of mechanical harvesting being feasible. With dwarf trees, conventional butt-shaking commonly causes tree damage, even to the extent of breaking the tree at the graft union or trunk/root junction. Work by Washington State University with modified over-the-row harvesters (one ex berryfruit) has produced good capture of fruit from the tree. If desired, earlier windfall fruit on the ground can be collected using conventional sweeping equipment. The over-the-row form of harvesting also has the advantage of not being a stop-start process that requires precise locating and gripping of butts so should also evolve into a quicker harvesting operation.

“Feasibility of Different Harvest Methods for Cider Apples: Case Study for Western Washington”

Suzette P. Gallinato, Carol A. Miles, . Travis R. Alexander

 

 

 

For the fresh fruit trade, such mechanically harvested fruit from the tree and from the ground would not be of acceptable quality – and hence not economic. But for apples that within hours will be scratted and pressed and on their way to becoming cider, the mechanical harvesting route is quite acceptable. It may also come about that the work being put into robotic fruit location and harvesting for the fresh fruit trade will reach the stage of feasibility. Whether the harvesting rate would match non-robotic rates is doubtful but the higher quality of robotic harvested fruit may well be desirable for certain juice or cider products.

Combine mechanical harvesting with over-the-row spraying that incorporates spray capture plus associated spray recycling and the orchard operations have a much better chance of meeting increasingly stringent environmental requirements. It will also bring savings for those same spraying operations both in operating time and chemical usage.

As an aside, there is debate about whether there are differences in amounts of flavour compounds, tannin etc in the outer (ie the skin and first few millimetres) of the apple fruit vs the bulk of the apple flesh. If this is so then it follows that small apples with a higher surface to volume ratio would contribute more to the final cider than do larger fruit. The issue here in trying to harness any advantage via small fruit is that hand harvesting small fruit is very labour intensive and therefore costly. This is obviously a dis-incentive to growing small fruited cultivars. Conversely the fruit size makes no difference to the mechanical harvester, leaving the choice of cultivar more open.

Cider apple varieties in Australia

The NSW DPI produced a poster in 2008 of the 30 varieties of cider apple in Australia that appeared to be true-to-type. Since that time the number of varieties has grown to  34 and two posters have been developed (thank you Jenny) which illustrate those 34 varieties and place them in their respective classes eg sweet, bittersweet etc.

The posters differ in that one – “Cider Varieties” – simply shows the varieties in their classes and the other adds a chart to explain the acid and tannin (polyphenol) relationship for the various classes. You are welcome to download the pdf files and print them. I would ask that if you are using them for other than your own use that Cideroz be acknowledged as the source.

Cider Apple Varieties in Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cider Varieties in Australia plus Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some words of explanation regarding “cider varieties”. There is no reason why cider cannot be made from any apple juice. But the results can be disappointing since varieties of apple bred for eating do not necessarily have the characteristics that make for a good cider. The 34 varieties in these posters are those that have been imported into Australia (from Britain and France) at various times because of their suitability for making cider.

There are other “nominally” cider varieties in some Australian collections but they are not yet proven to be true-to-type ie they do not appear to agree with the same variety in the country of origin.

Batlow Cider Events – May 2018

Further information re the cider events coming up in Batlow in May.

Cider Australia will be holding their AGM on Thursday 17th May with the meeting scheduled for 2pm at the Batlow RSL. At 5pm there will be an Open Meeting regarding cider Brand Proposition and Export Workshop. See link below on the Wine Australia website.

https://www.wineaustralia.com/whats-happening/export-and-regional-wine-support-package/cider

Further details re the meeting on Thursday:   http://www.cideraustralia.org.au/events/annual-general-meeting-cider-australia/

 

 

The annual Cider Conference will be held on Friday 18th May at the Batlow Literary Institute. Headline speaker for the Conference will be noted cider educator and cider maker Peter Mitchell from the UK (see further info about Peter at http://www.cider-academy.co.uk)

The full Conference program is now available – see link below:                              2018 Cider Industry Conference Program

Bookings have opened for the Cider Conference.                              http://www.ticketebo.com.au/ciderindustryconference

Saturday 19th May will see the Batlow CiderFest. Check the website  http://www.batlowciderfest.com.au     for information and contact details about having a cider stall, being an entertainer or coming along on the Saturday.                        The CiderFest alcohol stall coordinator is interested to hear from any cider producers that might be interested in staying on in Batlow for the CiderFest on the day following the conference.  Having a stall at the festival is a great way for producers to offset some travel costs.

Here’s the link to the Alcohol Stallholder EOI for 2018. http://www.batlowciderfest.com.au/f.ashx/2018-Alcohol-Stalls-EOI.pdf

EOI’s close 19th March.

Australian Cider Awards 2017

p1130606Entries have closed for the 2017 Awards. Entires in 2016 set a new record and entries in 2017 have surpassed that number. Judging will take place on 26 & 27 September in Melbourne. Results will be announced at the Presentation Dinner on Friday 27th October in Melbourne – tickets through the Cider Australia website.

In addition to the Dinner in Melbourne on the 27th, there will be a meeting of Cider Australia on Saturday 28th as well as a producers Forum Again, details and tickets through the Cider Australia website.

2016 Cider Conference – BATLOW – Friday 20th May

It’s on again !

What : 2016 Cider Industry Conference
When : Friday 20th May 2016
Where : Batlow, NSW
 
 

Why should you attend ? : The Cider Industry Conference is the only event of it’s type convened specifically for the cider industry in the Oceania Region.  You won’t want to miss our International guest presenter Dr Carol Miles of Washington State University speaking on the North American Hard Cider industry, cider characterisation, mechanical harvesting and orchard design.


Our guided Cider Appreciation session will be a unique opportunity to taste some traditional single variety ciders.  This session will be led by industry legend Mr Drew Henry (Henry’s of Harcourt) featuring some of Australia’s pioneer single variety ciders.  We hope to pair the ciders with some actual fruit of that variety….it promises to enlighten your palate.


Last year tickets for the conference sold-out prior to the event. Seats are limited, so I encourage you to book ASAP.
See you in Batlow this May for the 2016 Cider Industry Conference and Batlow CiderFest.
Kevin Dodds | Development Officer – Temperate Fruits
Department of Primary Industries | Agriculture NSW
64 Fitzroy Street  Tumut, NSW 2720 | PO Box 3  Tumut NSW 2720
T: 02 6941 1405  F: 02 6947 4149  M: 0427 918 315  

Cider apple blossom

Apple varieties generally produce more fruit when the blossom is fertilised with pollen from a different variety. In order for this to take place it’s necessary to have varieties that reach the appropriate stage of flowering at “about” the same time. The flowers of cider apple varieties go through the same stages of development as do eating apple varieties and the critical period of the blossoming is between king-bloom and full-bloom.

Improved Foxwhelp king02

Apples generally have flowers in clusters and king-bloom is when the first (generally central) blossom opens. Full-bloom is when all the blossoms of a cluster have opened and before petals start to fall.

Because there is a lot of variation of blossoming stage within a tree and between trees, it is not possible to precisely define when a particular variety reaches these stages. Essentially the ascribing of a date for king-bloom or full-bloom is by “averaging” the blossom stages of a given tree. For this reason it is obvious that some flowers will be open ahead of and behind the nominal dates, but the period of receptivity is at a maximum in the nominated period.

Yarlington Mill fullbloom02

Other factors such as weather and bee activity will also naturally play a part in determining how efficient the pollination period will be in setting a crop. When the king-bloom to full-bloom period occurs can vary year-to-year as can the duration. 2015 blossoming was over a very short period. The dates will also vary within districts depending on local microclimates and between districts depending on altitude etc. Generally the sequence of varieties flowering is relatively stable – but not absolute!

The chart below is for the cider varieties just finished blossoming in 2015. For other years please contact davidp at cideroz.com  LL Cider Phenology 2015j  Double-click the chart to get a clearer image. The variety Granny Smith is not generally considered a “cider” apple although is can be useful for adding acidity to a blend. The main reason for including it in the blossoming chart is to give a reference point so that it is possible to get an idea when the cider varieties will bloom.

 

 

2015 Australian Cider Awards

Judging of the 2015 Australian Cider Awards is now complete. The class winners and top cider and perry of the 2015 Awards will be announced at the Presentation Dinner to be held on October 9th in Melbourne.

On the morning of October 10th a cider producers forum will be held and from midday to 8pm the Australian Cider Festival will be held at the Ormond Hall.

Full details regarding both events are available on the Cider Australia website: www.cideraustralia.org.au

Dates for your diary

There are important Cider events coming up at Batlow.

Cider Australia will be meeting on Thursday afternoon 14th May – contact via the Cider Australia website.

The 2015 Cider Industry Conference is being held on Friday 15th May. Special guest at this year’s conference is Dr Andrew Lea.
See the full program at: The 2015 Cider Industry Conference

 

and Saturday 16th sees a repeat of the highly successful Batlow CiderFest

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Cider Apple Trees

HFT-elogosHeritage Fruit Trees – Rob Pelletier                      enquiries@heritagefruittrees.com.au                      PO Box 35, Beaufort, Victoria 3373, Australia

Their website lists cider apples available (April 2016) on various rootstocks together with the available cider scions and apple rootstocks

http://www.heritagefruittrees.com.au

 

mi apple logoMiapple Farm       MiaMia, Victoria                                  Peter Cooke  03 9701 3066                                     peter@miapple.com.au                                                          A revised stockist will be posted on the Miapple website in May 2016      http://miapple.com.au

 

WFT-logo-for-emailWoodbridge Fruit Trees – Tasmania                          Nik Magnus 0418 806 175  http://www.woodbridgefruittrees.com.au/wft/               woodbridgefruittrees@gmail.com

 

SHA Logo_colourStrzelecki Heritage Apples                                 Mark and Margaret Brammar                strzapples@skymesh.com.au                                 1699 Korumburra-Warragul Rd, Strzelecki, Victoria           03 5659 5242

Orders taken for supply of bare root trees to be delivered the following winter. These orders need to be confirmed by mid June of the year preceeding delivery. Limited quantities of scionwood of a large range of cider varieties available.

 

 

PetePermieTelopea Mountain                                Peter and Silvia Allen                            telopeamtn@bigpond.com                  Invermay Road, Monbulk, Victoria                                                                0418 665 880       http://www.petethepermie.com                                              *Telopea sell trees bare rooted & potted. Their trees are suitable for direct entry into Organic certified and Biodynamic certified farms. Cider variety scions are available.

 

BALHANNAH LOGO Black tree

Balhannah Nurseries – Sam Luke (Manager)       email: sam@balhannahnurseries.com.au              Hartmann Rd, Charleston, South Australia          Ph: 08 8389 4557    Mobile: 0412 237 684              http://balhannahnurseries.com.au    Balhannah currently (April 2016) has available limited quantities of some perry pear trees for delivery winter 2016 – Yellow Huffcap, Blakeney Red, Gin and Moorcroft, along with cider apples Cimetiere de Blangy and Verite

 

factree_logoGraham’s Factree                                       Libby Fleming  03 9999 1999                             sales@factree.com.au                                     160 Thonemans Rd., Hoddles Creek, Victoria            Factree primarily ‘grow to order’ and deliver bare rooted trees in the winter. Trees can be produced on dwarfing and non-dwarfing rootstocks.                  http://www.factree.com.au

 

logoOak – Tahune Fields Nursery            Brendon Francis                            brendon.francis@oak.org.au                     Oak – Tahune now manage the apple germplasm collection which was previously held by the Tasmanian DPI. They can supply scionwood, rootstocks or grafted rootstocks. Orders for nursery trees can be placed for delivery winter 2017.       http://oak.org.au/tahune-fields-nursery/

 

 

MMFeature (13)Maple Grove Nursery                            Michelle Morrison                                            maplegrovenursery@bigpond.com               Maple Grove have traditionally been known as an apple rootstock supplier and continue to provide this service. They also can produce cider trees to custom order.       http://www.maplegrovenursery.com.au/index.htm

 

logo-horizontal-darkbg-lgeYalca Fruit Trees                              info@yalcafruittrees.com.au       Yalca have some cider trees available for delivery in winter 2016. Check their website for the variety listing http://www.yalcafruittrees.com.au/product-category/cider-apples-1/

 

 

A few words about the material that is available. The more commonly available cider apple varieties – the English ones – would in a lot of cases have been sourced from the collection at the (NSW Agriculture) NSW DPI research station at Orange. These were imported by Dr Jill Campbell in the 1970’s. As far as I am aware these varieties were not guaranteed to be virus tested / virus free and accordingly most of the material currently available carries the same status, unless of course the supplier has undertaken virus “cleaning”. Budwood should still be available from the NSW DPI.

This mention of viruses, whilst it may seem to be of concern, should not be too concerning. Some eating apple varieties were cleaned of viruses and their orchard performance changed in the sense that the trees grew better but did not necessarily fruit better. In some cases the productivity was reduced.

I am asking those people / companies who supply (or who will shortly be in a position to supply) cider apples trees to get in contact with me. Likewise those who supply rootstocks or cider apple budwood. Although I have retired from NSW Agriculture I continue to provide extension information on cider and would like to ensure that my information on sources etc is up-to-date.

The intent is not to list quantities and varieties but simply to make the names and contact details available.

Some suppliers I am already aware of but there will obviously be those I’m not aware of. So the hope is that by putting this request on Cideroz the listing will be as complete as possible.

Please contact via davidp at cideroz.com