The International Cider Awards Q&A with Cornish Orchards

The International Cider Awards Q&A with Cornish Orchards

The International Cider Awards prides themselves on having the highest of standards in the industry. From recruiting commercially-active cider makers from around the world, ensuring every cider is stored and served at the optimum conditions for blind tasting, to a judging process that is unique in the industry, every detail is considered.

Alongside the International Brewing Awards, they are the most prestigious industry awards to win in the world. In our second blog asking winners from the last two award seasons, we spoke to Chris Newton, Head Cider Maker at Cornish Orchards .

Introducing Cornish Orchards

Cornish Orchards is an award-winning cider and soft drinks company based at Westnorth Manor Farm in Duloe, Cornwall, a small village located in the South West of the UK.

The company was founded by Andy Atkinson who started a project in 1992 to plant an orchard with the aim to save, rejuvenate and bring back traditional Cornish apple varieties, as well as encouraging birds and wildlife back to the area. The farm has grown from this individual orchard, to becoming one of the largest collections of Cornish apple varieties in the UK.

Following two years of successful apple juice production, in 2001 Andy blended his very first cider. After several years of continued success and growth, the cider company was purchased by Fuller, Smith and Turner, enabling this Cornish cider to reach a more national market.

Having entered the International Brewing Awards in the past, the team are putting forward two of their ciders for the 2019 awards including one of their newest products. So we spoke to Chris Newton to find out more about why they entered and the benefits they have reaped through winning.

When did you first enter the awards?

“In 2015 we entered two products into the International Cider Awards for the first time. The Gold Cider, which won the Gold Award and our Heritage Cider which was awarded the Bronze award.

Given it was our first time entering, coming away with a win was a real achievement for the whole team.”

Why did you decide to enter the awards?

“The International Cider Awards is a great platform for us to be able to share our passion and craft. We love what we do, and it has enabled us the opportunity to go up against some of the biggest brands in the industry to see how we fared. Having this kind of recognition from the industry just cements everything we believe and have learnt as cider makers within an ever-evolving craft.”

The International Cider Awards brings together the largest collection of fine cider producers in the world, from artisan craft to multinational brands. Everyone gets a chance to showcase their innovations and this desire to constantly improve which drives the industry to better things.

What are the main benefits you have reaped from winning an International Cider Awards?

“Winning the International Cider Awards was a real talking point with prospective customers. Having a prestigious award to back up the fundamentals of our product really helped it to stand out amongst the competition. Not forgetting the boost it has had to the team by having their hard work and passion for quality recognised.

It was a real highlight being able to showcase the award through our social media channels, on our packaging, and marketing materials we use at events. We also use the award stamp on our websites product page as a seal of approval to showcase what a great product our Gold Cider really is.”

Winning the Gold award, and having been through the awards process, we asked what advice he would have for others thinking about entering.

“My best piece of advice would be to make sure you know and understand your product.

The cider industry is a competitive market, so making sure you know what makes your product the best is crucial.

We are passionate about our brand’s provenance and the quality of products we produce and it’s this passion that we hope customer’s taste with every glass of Cornish Orchards Cider.”

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