By Melissa Keogh
Pop the top off a Sidewood Basket Pressed Pear Cider and you’re about to sip on the best dry pear cider in the world.
The team at Adelaide Hills cidermaker Sidewood has good reason to propose a toast this week after winning the World’s Best Dry-Style Perry/Pear Cider at the 2017 World Cider Awards in London.
The cider, made from fruit sourced from Hills orchards, was ahead of 25 entrants including five other Australians.
Sidewood’s Basket Pressed Apple Cider also won a gold medal.
Sidewood owner Owen Inglis says the win was a testament to the passion, hard work and commitment to quality by head cidermaker Michael Redman and his team.
“Our handcrafted cider – fully produced in the Adelaide Hills – has always contained just fresh 100% Adelaide Hills grown apples and pears,” he says.
“Our dedication and desire to producing a pure, fresh product without fillers or sweeteners means we never comprise on quality which has paid us dividends with this award.”
Head cidermaker Michael Redman says the win was a pinch-me moment.
“I had to pinch myself. Yes it was real,” he says.
“Now as the dust settles a mad rush is on to make sure we have enough stock on-hand for the impending boom.”
The six-week cidermaking process begins in the orchards with fruit selected for flavour and acidity.
The fruit is then crushed and cool fermented at Sidewood’s Nairne cidery within hours of picking.
Sidewood mills, presses, ferments, cans and kegs at Nairne.
An orchard has also been planted, allowing the company to “take control of the growing process”.
The company says that tests conducted in October 2016 found that Sidewood ciders had one of the lowest sugar contents in the market, with 1.8g of sugar per 100ml.
This is compared to a market average sugar content of 4.56g per 100ml.
The overall World’s Best Cider will be announced in September.
Sidewood is predominantly a winery, with wines made by internationally renowned winemaker Darryl Catlin.
It began cidermaking in 2014.
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