It finally happens!

Last night the inevitable happened. Australian products took out the top prizes at the Australian Cider Awards.

The Hills Cider Co. took out the top perry prize and the “Best in Show” with their Pear. Congratulations to the team at Hills for a fabulous product. Scoring 57 points out of a possible 60 reflects the quality.

And to cap the Australian night, the winner of the top cider was Small Acres Cyder with their methode champenoise ‘Cat’s Pyjamas’.

Medal winners are detailed below:
Class 1 – Dry Cider (specific gravity up to 1005)
Sponsored by Della Toffola Pacific
Wiedmann & Groh – Ciderhaus Champagnerennette 2011 Gold
Red Sails Dry Cider Silver
Borodell Vineyard Heritage Cider Silver
Small Acres Cyder Somerset Still 2013 Silver
321 Cider Learmonth Traditional Still Cider Bronze
King Valley Cider Co. Traditionally Tart Dry Cider Bronze
Core Cider Co. Hardcore Traditional Cider Bronze


Class 2 –Medium Cider (specific gravity between 1005 and 1012)
Sponsored by Fizz Bizz
Wiedmann & Groh – Ciderhaus Trierer Weinapfel 2011 Gold
Little Creatures – Pipsqueak Aspall Draught Cyder Silver
Napoleone Napoleone Apple Cider Silver
Cerbaco Cidre Brut Artisanal de Normandie la Pommeraie Silver
LOBO Juice and Cider Co. LOBO Apple Cider Bronze
Oakvale Wines Oakvale Apple Cider 2013 Bronze
Eclor – BAW Duche de Longueville – Gros oeillet Bronze
Cerbaco Cidre Fouesnant Manoir Kinkiz Bronze
Bilpin Cider Co Blpin Original Cider Bronze
Cerbaco Cidre Brut Bouche – Le Pere Jules – Pays d’Auge Bronze
Willie Smiths Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider Bronze
The Australian Brewery AB Fresh Press Cider Bronze
Hills Cider Company The Hills Cider Company – Apple Bronze
Matilda Bay Brewing Company Dirty Granny Matured Apple Cider Bronze
Padthaway Estate Spikie Norman Bronze
Sitting Ducks Cider Sitting Ducks Adelaide Hills Apple Cider Bronze


Class 3 – Sweet Cider (specific gravity 1012 and above)
Sponsored by Summer Snow Juice
Cerbaco Cidre Doux Artisanal de Normandie la Pommeraie Gold
Eclor – BAW Ecusson Cidre Doux Silver
Cider Productions Apple Thief Granny Smith Cider Bronze
Graci / Harvey River Graci Premium Cider Apple Bronze
Tilse’s – Roma – Apple Truck Tilse’s Apple Truck Cider Bronze
Franklin Cider Co Frank’s Summer Apple Cider Bronze
Barossa Valley Cider Co Barossa Cider Co Squashed Apple Bronze
Stassen – Kollaras Stassen “Over Ice” Apple Cider Bronze


Class 4 – Bottle Conditioned / Methode Champenoise Cider
Sponsored by Laffort
Cerbaco Cidre Cornouaille Manoir Kinkiz Gold
Small Acres Cyder The Cat’s Pyjamas Gold
Small Acres Cyder Small Acres Cyder 2011 Sparkling Silver
Core Cider Company Core-rupted Traditional Apple Silver
Spreyton Cider Co Spreyton Cider Co Vintage 2013 Bronze
St Ronans St Ronan’s Cider Apple Bronze
Kellybrook Winery Kellybrook Winery Jazz Methode Bronze
Napoleone Napoleone Methode Traditionelle Apple Cider Bronze


Class 5 – Dry Perry (specific gravity up to 1005)
Sponsored by Kegstar
LOBO Juice and Cider Co. Dry Pear Bronze


Class 6 – Medium Perry (specific gravity between 1005 and 1012)
Sponsored by Appledale Processors
Hills Cider Company The Hills Cider Company – Pear Gold
Bilpin Cider Co Bilpin Pear Cider Silver
Hillbilly Harvest Hillbilly Pear Cider Silver
Napoleone Napoleone Pear Cider Silver
Flying Brick Cider Co Flying Brick PearCider Bronze
Yarra Valley Cider Co Yarra Valley Cider – Pure Pear Bronze
Little Creatures – Pipsqueak Pipsqueak Pear Cider Bronze


Class 7 – Sweet Perry – specific gravity 1012 and above
Sponsored by Johnston Packaging
Cerbaco Poire “Fournier-Freres” la Pommeraie Silver
Cerbaco Le Pere Jules Poire – Pays d’Auge Silver
Sitting Ducks Cider Sitting Ducks Adelaide Hills Peary Cider Bronze
Franklin Cider Co Frank’s Summer Pear Cider Bronze
Cider Productions Apple Thief Pear William Cider Bronze
Graci / Harvey River Graci Premium Cider Pear Bronze


Class 8 – Bottle Conditioned / Methode Champenoise Perry
Sponsored by Laffort
St Ronans St Ronan’s Cider Pear Gold
Small Acres Cyder Small Acres Cyder 2012 Sparkling Perry Silver
Hills Cider Company The Hills Cider Company – Traditional Perry Bronze


Class 9 – Dry Cider made using water and/or sugar in production
Sponsored by Alepat Taylor
ZefferBrewing Co Zeffer Dry Apple Bronze
Westons World Brands Old Rosie Bronze


Class 10 – Medium Cider made using water and/or sugar in production
Sponsored by Breowan Systems Ltd.
Mike Henney / Phoenix Beers Henneys Dry Cider Silver
Redwood – Old Mout Old Mout Cider – Scrumpy Silver
Mike Henney / Phoenix Beers Henneys Vintage Cider Bronze
Westons World Brands Henry Westons Vintage Bronze
Monteith’s – Drinkworks Monteith’s Heritage Style Cider Bronze
Monteith’s – Drinkworks Monteith’s Apple & Pear Cider Bronze


Class 11 – Sweet Cider made using water and/or sugar in production
Sponsored by Della Tofolla Pacific and Laffort
Mike Henney / Phoenix Beers Henneys Sweet Cider Silver
Westons World Brands Wyld Wood Apple Bronze
Cascade – CUB Mercury Sweet Bronze


Class 14 – Sweet Perry made using water and/or sugar in production
Sponsored by Summer Snow Juice and Fizz Bizz
West End Brewing Company James Squire Perry Bronze
Carlton & United CUB Bulmers Pear Cider Bronze
Magners / Suntory Magners Pear Irish Cider Bronze
Carlton & United CUB Strongbow Pear Cider Bronze
Paracombe Premium Perry The Berg Bronze
Tilse’s – Roma – Apple Truck Tilses’s Pear Cider Bronze

Note to Medal Winners:  If any producer would like to print medal stickers for use on bottles, or use a medal image on media or websites then please liaise direct with the Design Company – VAADA – for all templates. The authorised Cider Australia template must be used, there are no exceptions. Rhea from VAADA can be contacted on 02 6360 4339, or by emailing Vaada can supply the template in soft form or they can arrange printing and supply on your behalf should you wish. Please liaise direct with Vaada for quotes, payment, etc should you wish to use their service.

Cider Australia

Following meetings at Orange NSW in September 2011 and at Healsville Vic in January 2012 a group of cider and perry producers decided to proceed with the formation of a producers organisation. As a result, Cider Australia has been incorporated (in NSW) and is working with the organisers of the Australian Cider Awards to bring to the public a number of events associated with the Awards.

Cider Australia now have their own website:

where information about the organisation and the public events can be obtained.

Please note that Cider Australia and the Australian Cider Awards now share the same logo.

Cider apples in Australia

This site was originally created to assist in the development of cider apple orchards in Australia. Comments as to subject areas to be covered are welcome. Contact via

There are 31 cider apple varieties available that have been confirmed as “true-to-type”, meaning they appear to conform to the named variety in the country of origin. The basic information about these varieties can be found on two webpages of the NSW Dept of Primary Industries:

Since these webpages were created the variety Tardive de la Sarthe has also been confirmed true-to-type.

The 31 varieties originated either in England (”cider”) or France (”cidre”). It is not essential that cider be produced from cider apples. However traditionally cider was made from special apple varieties with levels of tannins and acid that make the fruit less appealing as conventional dessert fruit. As the raw ingredient for cider production these specialised apples come into their own enabling the production of the Hereford and Somerset cider styles as well as the Normandy and Brittany cidre styles.

Cimetiere de Blangy

Cimetiere de Blangy is a French cider apple in the “douce amère” (the English bittersweet) class. In France it is also known as Blangy and Blagny. In Australia it was until recently listed in collections as Cimitiere du Pays.

The name Cimetiere de Blangy indicates the derivation of the variety. It was a tree located in a cemetery in the town of Blangy-le-Chateau which is about 15km north of Lisieux in Basse Normandie. The town of Blangy-le-Chateau comes within both the Calvados and Pays d’Auge regions giving a good indication of lineage and quality.

Under the control system prevailing in France it was included in the 1949 and 1958 listings for planting in the Calvados region. It appears to have been “retired” from the listing in 1966 (Pommiers à Cidre, INRA, 1997). Despite this, it still appears on various French websites including with a date of August 2007. The most interesting web reference in relation to Cimetiere de Blangy is probably the newly available book by Henrik Mattsson, “Calvados”. This book is subtitled “The world’s premier apple brandy – tasting, facts and travel”. Mattsson lists approximately fifty cider apple varieties that are being used for the production of Calvados, and Cimetiere de Blangy is one of three that are in Australia.

Current Australian information on Cimetiere de Blangy indicates that it flowers in mid (cider apple) season. As with all varieties there is variation year to year but this central positioning makes it a relatively easy variety to pollinate. Most years it has good overlap with Improved Foxwhelp. The blossom stages for Cimetiere de Blangy of king bloom (centre flower only open) and full bloom (all flowers in cluster open) are pictured.

Old apple tree found

An old apple tree has been located in the Southern Highlands of NSW (Australia).

It is thought to have been planted between 1830 and 1840 and reports indicate that it was producing regular crops of apples of about the size shown around 1940-1950. From the size and russetting it seems unlikely to be an eating or cooking apple. It’s shape is reminiscent of a pear but the man on the spot assures me it is an apple. Considering it’s age, the probable neglect over the years, and the degrading of the trunk it has an amazing crown. This year it apparently only had two apples (an off year?) so we hope for better things next year!

Does anyone recognise it as a cider apple?

Tardive de la Sarthe

Tardive de la Sarthe is the latest (May 2009) cider variety to be confirmed as being true-to-type and takes the total of cider varieties in Australia to 31.

In France it also has the synonym Frequin Tardif de la Sarthe but this name has not been used in Australia.

This variety was privately imported into Australia in 1985 at the same time as Tremletts Bitter. Despite Tardive de la Sarthe being French in origin it came to Australia via the famous Long Ashton Research Station at Bristol. Following importation it “sort-of” disappeared and it has only recently been tracked down. Fruit from the tree growing in Australia has been examined and found to conform to the description published in “Pommiers a Cidre”, Bore and Fleckinger, INRA 1997. Images of fruit produced in Australia have been examined by staff of INRA and the variety identification confirmed.

Tardive de la Sarthe was put onto some of the approved variety lists in France in 1949 but was removed in 1991 because of it’s sensitivity to fireblight. This is not a consideration in Australia since we don’t presently have this disease in the country.

Published data from France places Tardive de la Sarthe in the “amere” class – relatively high tannin levels and relatively low acidity. See the NSW DPI website for a chart of other “amere” types. Under the English system of four classes, Tardive de la Sarthe would be classified as a bitter-sweet but it’s tannin level is on the high side for this class.

There is virtually no Australian information about Tardive de la Sarthe – yet. The likelihood is that the Australian climate will suit this French variety as most of Australia has more in common with French conditions than the conditions prevailing in the British cider growing areas. It remains however to gain experience about the performance of this variety in the orchard and it’s reactions to the diseases that we do have in Australia.