Australian Cider Awards 2012

Note to Entrants:

The Presentation Dinner being held in association with the Cider Awards 2012 will take place at the Sebel in Surry Hills (Sydney). Please see the note lower down on this page under “4Awards Presentation Dinner” regarding those ciders and perrys that receive “best in class” or medals and the need to have product available for this Dinner.

Rules of Entry:

1. Where water is used in the production processes of a cider or perry (eg to reconstitute concentrate, or to adjust alcohol percentage) such products are to be entered in classes 9 – 14.

2. The use of sugar where its sole function is to promote the secondary fermentation process for products entered into classes 4 and 8 is acceptable. Where sugar or sugar substitutes are used in the production processes specifically to increase alcohol percentage or to adjust sweetness such products are to be entered in classes 9 – 14.

3. Entrants must declare the product as either Cider or Perry and enter it in one of the classes 1 – 14.

4. There is no flavoured Cider or Perry class.

5. Entrants must have a minimum of 225 litres of each product in stock at time of entry (25 dozen 750mL bottles or equivalent volume).

6. All entries must be available for sale in Australia at the time of entry.

7. The organising committee reserves the right to audit compliance in regard to entries.

8. An entry form and an entry fee must accompany each entry. Entries not accompanied by the fee and entry form will not be accepted. Entry charges for 2012 are $45 for members of Cider Australia and $55 for non-members.

9. Each entry will consist of 4 x 750mL bottles, or 8 x 375mL bottles or equivalent volume. Please note any remaining bottles may be used at the Awards Presentation Dinner. After that, any remaining bottles can be picked up at the end of the event by the entrant.

10. More than one entry per class per entrant is permitted.

11. Entries must be in a glass bottle.  All closures permitted.

12. Entries must have a label on the bottle identifying the class number and producer. No show labels will be provided.

13. All entry forms and fees must be received by the organisers by Tuesday, 2nd October 2012.  No late forms or fees will be accepted.

14. Ciders and/or Perrys to be entered into the show must be delivered to the Orange Agricultural Institute by close of business on Friday 5th October 2012.

Note: The Orange Agricultural Institute closes Saturday and Sunday and is open 08.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday. No late deliveries accepted.

15. The judges’ decision is final.

16. The judges reserve the right not to award medals, prizes or certificates in each class.

17. Results will be published in the 2012 Australian Cider Awards booklet. Results will also be posted on the Cideroz website and the Cider Australia website.

18. Judges’ comments will be sent to the individual entrants.

19. Cider or Perry entered by an entrant into one class may be moved by the judges into another class at the judges’ discretion.

20. Exhibits will be judged out of 60 points where

  • Bronze equals 46.5 – 50.5
  • Silver equals 51 – 55
  • Gold equals 55.5 – 60.

Where Ciders or Perrys do not meet these criteria the notation ‘Best in Class’ may be indicated.


1. Dry Cider – specific gravity up to 1005.

2. Medium Cider – specific gravity between 1005 and 1012.

3. Sweet Cider – specific gravity 1012 and above.

4. Bottle Conditioned / Methode Champenoise Cider.

5. Dry Perry – specific gravity up to 1005.

6. Medium Perry – specific gravity between 1005 and 1012.

7. Sweet Perry – specific gravity 1012 and above.

8. Bottle Conditioned / Methode Champenoise Perry.

9. Dry Cider made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

10. Medium Cider made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

11. Sweet Cider made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

12. Dry Perry made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

13. Medium Perry made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

14. Sweet Perry made using water and/or sugar in the production process.

General Information:

1. The Australian Cider Awards are being organised by a volunteer show committee based in Orange, NSW.  For further information or enquiries regarding the show, please contact:

David Pickering
681 Huntley Road, Orange  NSW 2800
Mobile 042 727 1477

2Delivery address for entries to the Cider Awards:

David Pickering
Orange Agricultural Institute
1447 Forest Road, ORANGE NSW 2800


3. Venue

The competition will be held at the Orange Agricultural Institute on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October 2012.

4. Entry form for Australian Cider Awards 2012

Download the pdf file

Entry form 2012

5Awards Presentation Dinner:

The presentation dinner will be held at the Sebel, Surry Hills, Sydney on Friday 12th October 2012. For cost and booking details see the link below:

2012 Cider Awards – Presentation Dinner

This year the Cider Awards Presentation Dinner will be held in Sydney with up to 200 people attending. This change has been made in association with the newly formed Cider Australia to make the Awards Presentation more accessible and to better publicise the award winning ciders and perrys. This provides a fantastic opportunity to get your product in front of the right people.

The entries winning medals and/or best in class will be showcased at the Presentation Dinner through being matched by the judges to one of the courses served. We are asking that appropriate medal winners contribute 2 x cartons (9L or equivalent) to be served at the dinner. Additional carton/s will be purchased by Cider Australia from the producer to ensure we have sufficient stock for serving. Only the selected winners will be asked to supply extra stock for the dinner.  We trust that you will agree with this move to publicise the top products in this way and will be prepared to provide this support to the dinner.

6. Other Activities:

In addition to the Presentation Dinner other events will be held at Manly’s Hotel Steyne in conjunction with the 2012 Australian Cider Awards. Schedule of events below:

 Hotel Steyne events


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 Awards 2012 – Judges

The organising committee has taken a major step in regard to judging of the Australian Cider Awards 2012. Noted English cider expert Dr Andrew Lea who worked at the Long Ashton cider research station will be travelling to Australia and joining the judging panel for the 2012 Awards.

Andrew is photographed being presented with an NACM medal by the Duchess of Wessex in 2010. The presentation was made at the Royal Bath and West Show at Shepton Mallet. The citation quotes   “A lifetime contribution to the cider industry”.

Photo courtesy of NACM – see link below for full background to the medal presentation.

Max Allen and Neal Cameron  will again be a part of the judging panel and will again be joined by associate judge Lucy Maddox.

Max Allen. Max is an award-winning wine writer and backyard cidermaker. Wine columnist for The Weekend Australian and wine editor for Australian Gourmet Traveller, his latest book is The History of Australian Wine: Stories from the Vineyard to the Cellar Door. He has been judging at Australian wine shows since 1995, most recently as Chief Judge at both the Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura and the Organic Wine Show in Sydney, and has been judging cider for magazines and competitions since 2007. He is researching a book about cider in Australia.

Neal Cameron. The architect of William Bull Brewing and Angus Red Pilsner, Neal Cameron is also an accomplished contract brewer, crafting beers for some of the best known boutique beers in Australia. Neal has recently moved to Sydney to start The Australian Brewery in Sydney’s northwest which has already produced medal winning beers under his tutelage. Neal is a regular judge at The Australian International Beer Awards, he writes for Beer & Brewer magazine (specialist subject cider) and is on the executive committee of the NSW Brewers Guild.

Results – Australian Cider Awards 2011

Judging of the Australian Cider Awards 2011 took place on Thursday 15th September at the Orange Agricultural Institute. Results were announced that night during the Awards dinner to an enthusiastic gathering at the Old Convent, Borenore.

The major winners were:


Henney’s Cider Co of Herefordshire UK – “Henney’s Dry Cider” (entered by Phoenix Beers of Perth, West Australia)

Henney’s Dry Cider was placed first in Class 1 – Dry Cider SG up to 1005 – and was adjudged the Best in Show.



CUB – Matilda Bay – “Dirty Granny” (entered via Liquid Ideas, Sydney)

Dirty Granny was placed first in Class 10 – Medium Cider – and was adjudged the Best Australian Cider



This Award was shared between entries from

The Hills Cider Company, Pear/Perry (Class 6) and

Napoleone & Co Pear Cider Traditionelle (Class 8).


See link below for complete results:

Results: Australian Cider Awards 2011


For two interesting reviews of the Cider Awards and Presentation Dinner see:

Siobhan Curran’s website “Cooking From the Heart”

 Cider Awards Presentation Dinner – Siobhan Curran


and Pamela Harrison “Life A L’Orange”

Cider Awards Presentation Dinner – Pamela Harrison 


There are various press articles about the Cider Awards. Items from judges Willie Simpson (The Age – 27th Sep 2011) and Max Allen (The Weekend Australian – 22/23 Oct 2011) can be accessed via the links below:

Willie Simpson – She’s apples in Orange

Max Allen – Cider House Rules

Max’s article also has a video clip reviewing some of the ciders.

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.