Illawarra Newsroom

Illawarra orchard cleans up at World Cider Awards

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Glenbernie Orchard at Darkes Forest has cleaned up at the World Cider Awards winning three medals and a world title.

Darkes sparkling pear cider Perry was crowned the world's best sparkling while its Howler cider won a gold medal and their dry a silver.

Glenbernie Orchard owner Jo-Anne Fahey said the honours, especially the Perry win, were a huge boost for the business.

"It means we are on the map globally and this is a terrific opportunity for export," she said.

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"We've already sent some of our Perry overseas and are trying to break into the Japanese market," Fahey said.

Cider Australia, the industry's peak body, is planning a tasting session of ciders for the Japanese market and Darkes Cider Perry will be a feature at the event.

Fahey said the popularity of cider was continuing to surge due to the nature of the product.

"Cider is only made with fresh juice, we're not adding water or sugar to it.

"Fruit is the hero of the product, it's very natural and pure.

"Cider is like wine and should be treated like wine.

"It goes beautiful with food and we're trying to educate people on how you can pair cider with food, no pun intended," she said.

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It is the second major award for the Darkes Cider Perry in recent months, having won 'Best Perry' at the acclaimed Red Hill Cider Show in Victoria.

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh congratulated the farm and the family on their international acclaim.

"What a wonderful result and what a wonderful story this is for our region at a time when we need some uplifting news," Sleigh said.

"Wollongong has another world champion to celebrate and congratulations go to Jo-Anne and all of the team.

"This is a product of their labour and love," he said.

Images: Darkes Brewing and World Cider Awards