The Renaissance of Quality
A handful of growers in Australia have established orchards that support a growing market for Real Cider, crafted using traditional methods.
The correct blend of sharp, bitter-sharp, bitter-sweet and sweet apples, and the natural yeasts produce a fermented Cider that retains its own natural sweetness. The apples deliver robust apple flavours, and the creamy natural mousse gives a great sparkle to the drink.
Why would you make a Cider any other way?
Australian Style Cider
It's not easy to make Cider out of eating apples.... The majority of Australian Cidery Drink is made using Grade II or juicing eating apples that cannot be sold in the supermarket. Some is made using apple concentrate imported from China. These apples are grown for their colour, their long shelf life, and their resistance to bruising. The manufacture of cider from these apples provides a useful sales outlet for eating apple growers. Often these apples have been sprayed and gassed to help preservation.
Most of these Cidery drinks start life as juice which is sterilised to remove whatever natural yeasts have survived the sprays and gas. A fast fermenting yeast is added to produce the maximum alcohol in the shortest possible time. Once the ferment is over, the drink is once more sterilised (possibly filtered), and then sweetened, carbonated, and bottled.
It is interesting to look at how the labels describe the ingredients "made with apples", "Heirloom apples", "local apples", "family orchards" etc.
The Australian Cider Story
Unlike the colonists in North America, the folks who arrived in Australia were mostly city folks. The earlier colonies attracted farmers, and with those farmers came a rich tradition of apple heritage. (Johnny Appleseed).
By the time the Australian colonists arrived, the cider apple orchards of Europe were mostly abandoned and in disrepair. In the overcrowded cities beer and gin were the drinks of choice, as these were much easier to produce. Cider had become unpopular, and it is no surprise that the colonists made their first beer from Native Hops, and that the growing of beer making crops became a priority.
The tradition of Cider that exists in North America and Europe never arrived.
At Heritage Cider we are flying the flag for Real Cider in Western Australia. We stand alone in Western Australia, but in the future you will see more and more Real Ciders being produced in Western Australia as the Australian taste buds wake up to Real Cider. The new generation of Australian wine and Cider Makers will follow... behind us we have great winemakers and cider enthusiasts like Paul Nelson, waiting to take up the challenge and lead the West Australian cider industry into the future.
It has already happened with the Australian wine industry and it will happen with Cider. we are blessed with a great disease free climate for Cider apples, and can develop the West Australian Cider industry into a world respected brand.