Of 13 gold medals awarded at the 2018 Australian Cider Awards, nine were won by Australian cider producers.
In early October, Cider Australia announced the winners of the awards, which saw William Smith and Sons win four awards.
The Tasmanian company’s Willie Smith’s Kingston Black Cider won Best in Show, Best Traditional Cider and Best Australian Cider, with a score of 93 in the Traditional Medium Sweet Cider class.
Cider Australia executive officer Jane Anderson said it is an exciting time for the cider industry in Australia.
“It’s great to see more Australian producers and their ciders scoring higher than ever before in this year’s judging. While fewer entries scored medals, the cider making profession in Australia is becoming more skilled and competitive with more gold medals awarded,” she said.
“With the quality of cider produced in Australia constantly improving, our Australian producers have also been winning medals at international shows in the US, UK and the World Cider Awards,” said Anderson.
Prior to the Awards dinner held in Sydney on the 5th of October, cider producers from around the country and international guests were invited to attend an industry forum where a world-first Australian craft cider trust mark was unveiled by Cider Australia.
Designed to identify ciders made with 100 per cent Australian grown fruit, the trust mark will help consumers to make more informed choices when buying cider.
Current labelling laws make it difficult to identify from where fruit in a cider has been sourced.
Less than 15 per cent of Australia’s cider market comprises craft ciders made with 100 per cent Australian grown fruit.
A field of 260 Australian and international entries were judged across 25 classes by a panel of local industry professionals and visiting experts from the US and New Zealand.
Within each class, bronze, silver or gold medals were awarded based on points achieved, with the highest score winning best in class and the overall category trophy.
The 2018 Australian Cider Award winners were:
Best in Show: William Smith & Sons – Willie Smith’s Kingston Black Cider
Best Traditional Cider: William Smith & Sons – Willie Smith’s Kingston Black Cider
Best New World Cider: Westons – Caple Road
Best Perry: Fils De Pømme – L’Épatant
Best Intensified / Distilled Cider or Perry: Small Acres Syder – Small Acres Cyder 2010 Pommeau
Best Australian Cider or Perry: William Smith & Sons – Willie Smith’s Kingston Black Cider
Best International Cider or Perry: Westons – Caple Road
Most Successful Small Producer (less than 50,000l per year): Small Acres Cyder
Most Successful Larger Producer (more than 50,000l per year): William Smith & Sons
Champion of the Industry Award: David Pickering, researcher and apple orchardist, NSW
Cider Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation funded by cider businesses and sponsors, established in 2012.