Willie Smith's revitalises an old craft, releasing Traditional Cider Apple Blend »

Breathing new life into Tasmania's Huon Valley orchards

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The Apple Shed - Home of Willie Smiths

The Apple Shed - Home of Willie Smiths

Willie Smiths Organic Cider - Andrew and Ian Smith
Willie Smith's Traditional Cider limited release poster
Willie Smith's Traditional Cider Apple bottle


A new cider created using old-world crafting techniques has been launched by a leading Tasmanian producer.  Willie Smith's Cider is continuing its innovation by developing its new limited-release Traditional Cider Apple Blend.

The new offering has been crafted using old-world cider making techniques and rare heritage cider apple varieties.

Willie Smith's co-owner Sam Reid said they were giving new life to oft-forgotten cider apple varieties, which in turn has potential to increase employment and skill development opportunities in the Huon Valley.

"Some trees in the William Smith and Son's orchard are unused and had no future. With demand for specific cider apples we have been able to repurpose them by grafting heritage varieties onto them to ensure long-term sustainability of the orchard and the dozens of jobs that go with that," Mr Reid said.

"We have also planted new trees which require more management and different techniques and so we are growing the number of jobs and broadening the skill set required for the orcharding industry."

The Traditional Blend will only be available in limited quantities – but it will become part of the core range in the long-term, as supply of specialty cider apples increases.

"We just need a few more seasons of planting and grafting cider apples to achieve that," Mr Reid said.

Willie Smith's cider maker Tim Jones said it had been extremely rewarding to craft the cider in the traditional old-world style but in a way that fits in with the new-world context.

"In the same way that traditional French cider is made, we let our heirloom cider apples – which have very high tannins – oxidise before pressing," Dr Jones explained.

"This produces a deeply golden juice and alters the flavour and texture of the final blended cider. 

"Careful blending with culinary apples has created a softly structured and aromatic unfiltered cider that introduces the traditional cider apple influence in a balanced way to a broader market."

Mr Reid added: "A lot of cider drinkers would never have had the opportunity to taste real cider from real cider apples so we are very excited to take cider apples to the mainstream market."

Mr Reid said the Traditional Blend has the potential to open up export markets across the globe.

"Using cider apples means that Australian cider can legitimately compete on a global level against the best ciders from France and the UK as well as the US and continental Europe," Mr Reid said.

"This enables us to confidently enter global awards such as the Bath and Weston Show in the UK and GLINTCAP in the US and have Australian ciders recognised as World Class.

"This will in turn open up more export markets for us and enable other Australian producers to grow our markets."

See links below for more information on Willie Smith's


  • Huon and Channel (TAS)

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September 13th, 2017
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