When we sent a selection of our ciders to the world cider awards, judged in London we hoped we may do well but were shocked and somewhat overwhelmed to be so successful. We sent three products and won 4 awards. That’s pretty huge. To win gold medals for Darkes Howler Cider and Darkes Perry, a silver for our Dry Cider and capping it off with the title of ‘World's Best Sparkling Perry’ was a major thrill. This means our Perry was not only awarded Gold in its category, it has been placed above all other gold winners across all Perry sparkling categories. With travel being out of the question we couldn't send anyone to London to the awards night! It's all hush hush anyway until the announcement so we went to bed not knowing about winning until the next day, when it was all over the news.
Here's a little bit about our winners
‘World’s Best Sparkling Perry’ (World Champion Award) and Gold Medal - ‘Worlds Best Sparkling Contemporary Perry’
Most people know little about Perry. Perry is the term for pear cider. It is cider made from pears. In our case it is cider made from 100% fresh crushed pears. There would be the equivalent of at least 4 pears in each of our bottles. We have been perfecting our Perry for the last 6 years. This one is absolutely delicious at only 3.5% alcohol. It has a light fresh pear aroma and when you drink it you will sense the beautiful light fine bubble within a gorgeous fresh fruity taste. It finishes dry just like any beautiful champagne. Perry is not usually a drink that you 'guzzle' a lot of in a session. Keep it special. For example, it's the sort of drink that you may have one or two glasses of, with a lovely Thai inspired dinner or as a pre dinner drink with a cheese platter.
Gold Medal - ‘World's Best Sparkling Cider’ - Contemporary Medium Cider
Howler - Was our first cider. We released our first batch in 2013, with the launch party on the farm in the middle of a storm. It’s named after one of our farm dogs, who would howl to warn us of dangers within the farm, things like snakes and other intruders on the farm. She was a wonderful dog who lived an idyllic dog life, accompanying the workers each day within the farm, overseeing everything and protecting them from harm. Howler is an all occasion drink and is great to add to your cooking, try a splash in your bolognese! Drink it with a burger, pasta or lovely with seafood. The Gelatoman, local expert gelato maker, has even used it in a very special gelato!
Silver Medal - ‘World's Best Sparkling Cider’ - Contemporary Dry Cider
Darkes Dry is definitely also a go to in our family. We think it's useful to marinate a roast pork and then drink with a pulled pork bun!
What are our top cider tips?
Always drink cider from a beautiful glass, and ladies this is a chance to use your best crystal and especially a champagne style flute! Our non-alcoholic cider, Little Blue, is also beautiful served the same way.
Great craft ciders, like ours can be served around 7 degrees C, that way you will pick up more flavour. In other words if it's in your picnic hamper and not as cold, there's no worries! If you are at a party and you like to sip slowly, again no worries!
What can you look forward to on the farm?
We are beavering away at our farming as we always have at Glenbernie Orchard, getting ready for stone fruit picking season. Peaches and Nectarines will starting around mid November. Inviting locals and visitors to share the farm is evolving with the needs of our community. The way we run activities and events will be changing with COVID regulations and challenges as they arise. There will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the spaces we have during summer, including picnicking. When lock down ends, travelling for experiences here in the Northern Illawarra area and staying local is a great thing for our local economy, local jobs and is environmentally friendly! Buying your food locally grown is such a benefit.
We are currently planning and preparing for reopening. We have just released our brand new branding and will be rolling out a fresh new look over the coming months.