A new cider created using old-world crafting techniques has been launched by a leading Tasmanian producer, with employment in the Huon Valley set to benefit as a result.

Willie Smith’s Cider is continuing its innovation in the industry, by developing its new limited-release Traditional Cider Apple Blend, crafted using old-world cider making techniques and rare heritage cider apple varieties.

Willie Smith’s co-owner Sam Reid said they were giving new life to oft-forgotten cider apple varieties, which in-turn would increase employment and skill development opportunities in the Huon Valley.

“Some trees in the William Smith and Son’s orchard are unused and had no future. With demand for specific cider apples we have been able to repurpose them by grafting heritage varieties onto them to ensure long-term sustainability of the orchard and the dozens of jobs that go with that,” Mr Reid said.

“We have also planted new trees which require more management and different techniques and so we are growing the number of jobs and broadening the skill set required for the orcharding industry.”

The Traditional Blend will only be available in limited quantities – but it will become part of the core range in the long-term as supply of specialty cider apples increases.

Mr Reid said the Traditional Blend has the potential to open up export markets across the globe.

“Using Cider apples means that Australian cider can legitimately compete on a global level against the best ciders from France and the UK as well as the US and continental Europe,” Mr Reid said.

“This enables us to confidently enter global awards such as the Bath and Weston Show in the UK and GLINTCAP in the US and have Australian ciders recognised as World Class.

“This will in turn open up more export markets for us and enable other Australian producers to grow our markets.”