The man recently in charge of cider production for some of Australia's biggest cider brands will now oversee the rapid expansion of Willie Smith's.
Dr Tim Jones (pictured left) has been appointed chief cider maker of Tasmania's only organic cidery, based in the Huon Valley.
Jones has recently been responsible for the production of cider for brands including Mercury Cider, Strongbow Cider and Bulmers Cider. But, he says a chance to move to a smaller family-owned organisation, making truly differentiated, interesting cider was too good to pass up.
“I've been watching Willie Smith’s since it launched and when the opportunity came along to make craft cider at a scale that can reach the people and influence the market place, I jumped at it,'' he said.
“I love the French farmhouse style that Willie Smith's has created. I fell in love with the style of cider while I was in Brittany, where my wife is from.
“I am a proud Tasmanian and the opportunity to be party of an innovative, Tasmanian-owned organisation which is doing great things for the apple industry is exciting. Tasmania is certainly carving out a great name for quality produce and I look forward to doing my piece to continue this fantastic journey the state is on.''
Willie Smith's co-owner Sam Reid said the business was glad to acquire Jones' talents and passion.
“After he completed his Phd in plant genetics and post-doctoral fellowship in rootstock breeding, he joined Yalumba as nursery operations manager. This experience and knowledge will be a huge addition to the Willie Smith’s team,'' said Reid.
“Most importantly he has been making his own ciders for some time now and I have tasted a few and been blown away by their quality and complexity.”
Fourth generation orchardist Andrew Smith said he was “excited to work with Tim as we look to propagate new and interesting varieties of apples to make cider from”.
“Tim has previously had experience in other family companies such as Yalumba and loves the uncomplicated and passionate way that family business is done.”
Jones begins work at Willie Smith's this week.