Tassie cider beats traditional powerhouse producers at international awards.
Australian success over the English has transcended the Ashes cricket pitch, with a Tasmanian cider beating some of the best products from the mother country and around the world.
Willie Smith’s in the Huon Valley is today basking in the glory of its inaugural international award.
Its limited-edition Somerset Redstreak Single Varietal cider won its class at the Spanish Cider Awards, held over the weekend in Hernani, near San Sebastian, in the Basque Country in Spain.
The competition was judged by an international committee of renowned cider tasters from USA, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy.
Willie Smith’s co-owner Sam Reid said the award was a major coup for the business, which has only been in operation for five years and has modelled its products on traditional French and English producers who have been perfecting the art of cider craft for generations.
“It’s a massive thrill to be selected as Best ‘Traditional English Cider’ at a European Awards competition,” Mr Reid said.
“In Australia we’ve got a bit of a tradition at beating the English at their own game and so it’s nice to be able to do this in cider now too!”
Willie Smith’s was the only Australian product to be awarded a trophy at the event.
The rapid rise to international success has come earlier than expected for the Huon Valley gang.
“We hadn’t planned on entering the awards as we’ve been working hard just to keep up with demand in Australia,” Mr Reid said.
“Exporting our ciders hasn’t been a focus to date but Eduardo Coto, the Guest International Cider Judge at this year’s Australian Cider Awards, got excited about a few of the ciders he tasted in Australia and organised for a package of them to be sent over and entered in the Spanish competition.
Mr Reid said to win against the world’s best would put Tasmania on the map as a destination for cider connoisseurs and would open up new international export markets.
Willie Smith’s Somerset Redstreak won Class 4 at the Awards – Traditional English Cider – which includes the English ‘West Country’ ciders and other ciders inspired by that style.
Head Cider Maker, Dr Tim Jones said, “It’s humbling to have our ‘Best in Class’ award for the Redstreak at the recent Australian Cider Awards backed up on the global stage in this way. It gives us great confidence that the time and effort we are putting into the cultivation of traditional cider apple varieties is taking us in an ideal direction.”
Somerset Redstreak is a traditional bittersweet cider apple variety originating from Somerset in the West Country of England and Willie Smith’s offering has been produced solely from this variety.
The cider is designed to be lingered over with food such as seafood dishes or full-bodied creamy mature cheeses – perfect for the long summer days ahead!
The award-winning product is available at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, on leading wine lists and at premium bottle shops around Australia and online at www.williesmiths.com.au.
What: Willie Smith’s Somerset Redstreak, 750ml bottles (6.3% ABV)
Price: $31.99 per bottle