A combination of medieval techniques and perfect ‘terroir’ has resulted in an outstanding range of apple ciders, wines and even Method Champanoise.

Story & Photos by John Kruger

There’s quite a pedigree to apple cider. The first champagnes were made from cider, it was once the drink of English aristocrats, and it was imbibed as a health food by American presidents. A small cidery on the outskirts of Burra, South Australia, is producing method traditional – yet unique – ciders that are winning awards for their creators Tony and Susan Thorogood. “We have always loved apples,” Tony says. “But we had to buy land and start making cider because we had a vision of what cider should taste like and we couldn’t find a cider that remotely approached that.”
Tony and Susan set up their cidery in what turned out to be the perfect locality for growing cider apples. Burra has the cold winters they need for leaf and fruit development, warm summers for sugar levels and low rainfall to keep them packed with flavour. As the French suggest, it’s all about the ‘terroir’ and the hillsides around the historic mining town of Burra, once known for its copper deposits, have the right terroir. Real cider is fruity and smooth, it can be very dry or quite sweet, and is generally higher in alcohol than most beers, but with a clean, crisp and satisfying finish. The Thorogoods are producing a new and very palatable cider in this venerable tradition.

This story excerpt is from Issue #45

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2006