Flying Brick Cider Paddle
Victoria is home to thousands of fruit orchards, with organic apples and pears snapped up by boutique cideries to create thirst quenching batches of this favourite fruity tipple. Cider lovers can stop off at cellar doors to sample the latest varieties and accompany the tastings with gourmet food in beautiful regional settings. Here is a sample of regional cideries to help tempt taste buds and thirsty travellers.
321 Cider. Located just outside of Ballarat, in the little township of Learmonth, the 321 Café hosts the cellar door venue for 321 ciders, with tastings enjoyed against the backdrop of Learmounth Lake. Apples for 321 cider are sourced from the nearby Spring Vale Farm orchard of more than 1000 trees and 20 varieties. The cidery focuses on a limited selection of boutique ciders with characteristics that vary from year to year reflecting the conditions of each growing season. 321 High Street, Learmonth, near Ballarat. Tel. +61 3 5343 2233.
Daylesford Cider Company. Daylesford Cider produces a range of cider styles, from traditional, dry and ‘still’ through to lightly sparkling and sweeter styles. The ciders are made using 17 varieties of English-heritage listed cider apples grown on the farm, including Bulmer’s Norman, Yarlington Mill, Stoke Red and Somerset Redstreak. Visitors can enjoy the cellar door from Wednesday to Sundays, or arrange tours and events by appointment. 155 Dairyflat Road, Musk, near Daylesford. Tel. +61 3 5348 2275.
Flying Brick Cider Company. This newcomer Bellarine ciderie offers both apple and pear ciders, all naturally crafted from 100 percent fruit. Visitors can enjoy ciders on the cidery’s lawns and the cider house is open daily for tastings and lunch, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday. Live music is also hosted on Friday nights. 1251-1269 Bellarine Highway, Wallington, Bellarine Peninsula. Tel. +61 3 5250 6577.
Napoleone Brewery & Ciderhouse. Built from the foundations of a 19th century dairy on the Napoleone family property, the stunning views to the surrounding hills, orchards and vines are matched inside by views through to the working brewery. Apples and pears are grown on the property and crafted into cider on site. Visitors can enjoy tasting paddles, pots, and pints as well as share plates and snacks from the adjoining Meletos restaurant. 12 Saint Huberts Road, Coldstream, Yarra Valley. Tel. +61 3 9738 9100.
Kelly Brothers Cider & Riders Brew Co. Kellybrook Winery pioneered cider making in the Yarra Valley in the late 1960s. Kelly Brothers Cider was the brainchild of Phill and Gus Kelly who wanted to make some modern cider styles alongside the more artisan styles of Methode Champenoise cider and Calvados style apple brandy originally produced by their father. Combining the best of all methods, the annual Kellybrook Cider Festival is now held on the first weekend of May, this year running 30 April to 1 May 2016. Fulford Road, Wonga Park, Yarra Valley. Tel. +61 3 9722 1304.
St Ronans Cider. Local Badger Creek Blueberry Farm creation, St Ronan’s Cider, is available for tastings at the farm’s cellar door throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy an outdoor setting in summer on the patio, surrounded by the hills of the Yarra Valley, or cosy up by the fire inside in winter. The farm is also famous for its signature wines made from blueberries. 11 Garnook Grove, Badger Creek, Healesville, Yarra Valley. Tel. +61 3 5962 1601.
Yarra Valley Cider & Ale Trail. Taking in cideries as well as ales and farmgate produce experiences, this trail is an ideal way to explore this region through cideries. Tel. +61 3 5952 2600.
Byramine Homestead. This historic homestead was built in 1842 and is today recognised for its cultural heritage significance. With its own winery and brewery, Byramine also offers ciders for sale, with tastings available on site as well as tours of the homestead. After tastings, visitors can stay on to enjoy Devonshire Tea, Ploughman’s Lunch or something off the specialties board. 1436 Murray Valley Highway, Yarrawonga, Murray River region. Tel. +61 3 5748 4321.
The Cider Tree Mildura. The Cider Tree Mildura in the Sunraysia region showcases local produce and offers 18 different ciders and beers available on tap to try. The open spaces create a warm and welcome ambiance while showcasing the building that dates back to late 1800’s. 46 Deakin Ave, Mildura, Murray River region. Tel. +61 3 5023 5005.
Mock Red Hill. Offers a Demeter certified Bio-dynamic apple orchard and ciderie, in the heartland of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The most recent addition to Mock Red Hill is the ‘Cider Lounge’, a unique cellar door space offering sensory tasting experiences within an original wooden cool store, built on the orchard in 1945. Visitors can enjoy a cool cider accompanied by a cheese plate with local produce, including Mock’s own dried fruit range. 1103 Mornington-Flinders Road, Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula. Tel. +61 3 5989 2242.