For the first time in the history of the Australian Cider Awards, an Australian cider has been named ‘Champion of Show’.
The Hills Cider Company – Pear took out the top prize, ahead of more than 160 entries, including a large number from the UK and Europe, that were judged during the two-day show held in Orange earlier this month. The Hills Cider Company – Pear also took out the 'Champion Australian Perry' award.
Steve Dorman from The Hills Cider Company said, "I greatly appreciate the opportunity to accept this award on behalf of the Hills team, and thank them for all their hard work in achieving such great success. It is an exciting time for cider in Australia with many opportunities ahead of us".
Small Acres Cyder – The Cat's Pyjamas was awarded 'Champion Australian Cider'.
The award winners from the show were celebrated at a gala function held last Thursday at the Sebel Hotel in Surry Hills, attended by over 100 producers from around the country.
Cider Australia president James Kendell said that the 'Champion of Show' trophy was chosen by the judging panel as it showed pure fruit characters and aromas, interesting complexity and a clean finish.
"It was a fitting winner among a record field of quality entries in the annual event," Kendell said. "Cider has seen unprecedented growth over the last few years and now we are starting to see the industry mature. It is really rewarding to see the improvement in quality of Australian ciders and this was reflected by the significant increase in the number of medals awarded to Australian cider producers this year."
US cider expert Gary Awdey, one of the show judges, said he was impressed with the quality on display. "I was most impressed with the quality of the ciders entered and saw some strong correlations to where the US cider scene was only a few years ago. There is every reason to expect that the gap will narrow quickly. The best Australian ciders compare favourably with the best American ciders. I look forward to a future of friendly rivalry on the world stage," Awdey said.
Winners of the top awards included:
Class 1 – Weidmann & Groh – Champagnarennette 2011 (Germany)
Class 1 – Red Sails – Dry Cider (Tasmania)
Class 2 – Weidmann & Groh – Trierer Weinapfel 2011 (Germany).
Class 3 – Artisanal de Normandie la Pommeraie – Cidre Doux (France)
Class 4 – Small Acres Cyder – The Cat's Pyjamas 2011 (New South Wales)
Class 4 – Cornouaille Manoir Kinkiz – Cidre (France)
Class 6 – The Hills Cider Company – Pear (South Australia)
Class 8 – St Ronan's – Pear Cider (Victoria).