SunLive – The best Tauranga cider in New Zealand
Last year, a bat was crowned bird of the year in New Zealand, and just like the long-tailed bat, a Tauranga-based cider maker broke the mold in their respective awards show. .
La Cider Factorie de Te Puna saw their 2018 Perfect Pear bottled fermented cider crowned Champion Cider for 2021 at the New Zealand Fruit Wine & Cider Awards – the first time a perry has won the top prize since the awards were created in 1984.
Cider Simon Pearce explains that what makes cider special is the “traditional method” technique in which it is made.
“It’s made, in a way, like champagne,” explains Simon.
“It is fermented and aged in an aged oak barrel for a few months, then it passes into its bottle where it is fermented again. It stays in this bottle for a few years where it develops its aromas.
“Once it’s ready to drink, there’s yeast sediment in the bottle and it comes out and fills up and you have naturally clear sparkling cider.”
Chief Justice Merophy Hyslop said they just couldn’t look past Tauranga’s submission to pick New Zealand’s best.
“We kept coming back to it,” Merophy says.
“It had a very nice texture, nice bubbles, good complexity and good length. It’s not easy to create pear cider – it takes real skill to be able to make a cider like this.
The process, explains Simon, is quite intense. However, the end result is a reflection of his hard work and the skills he has acquired over the years.
“It’s very different,” he says.
“It is certainly a very specialized product, very labor intensive and a labor of love.
“It’s a challenge to use all of my experience and the techniques I’ve learned to produce something. “
Far from the prestigious perry, Simon’s personal drop after work among the dozen on offer is hop infused apple cider. Other popular indulgences this summer include a cider mojito and a seasonal blueberry flavor – their latest brew.
“It’s the flavor of this summer,” says Simon. “It’s very different and is proving to be very popular. “
La Cidrerie started in 2013.
In 2015, they opened a tasting room before opening the restaurant they now occupy in 2017.
A team of around 12 people worked tirelessly to produce the award-winning glass and Simon is always amazed by this distinction.
“It’s great to have this recognition and very unexpected,” he says.
“It’s a boost for our team to say what we’re doing is pretty good and to show it to our local people. “