Champagne of local apple ciders comes tops in global contest

A Ceres brewer made the concoction as a surprise for his daughter’s wedding and it has now been named top winner at the International Cider Challenge

29 July 2021 - 06:00 By hilary biller
Cider maker Larry Whitfield and his daughter, Alexandra, for whom Loxtonia's Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle Cider is named.
Cider maker Larry Whitfield and his daughter, Alexandra, for whom Loxtonia's Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle Cider is named.
Image: Supplied

After perfecting the making of pineapple beer during last year’s many alcohol bans, I moved on to brewing apple cider. I had visions of recreating one of those wonderfully boozy clear ciders you find in English pubs, only to discover that doing so is no easy feat.

That’s why I was intrigued to learn that Loxtonia, a family-owned cidery in the Ceres Valley, the home of the SA Apple industry, is making cider using the same method used to make champagne.

Loxtonia's award-winning Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle Cider.
Loxtonia's award-winning Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle Cider.
Image: Supplied

Chief cider maker Larry Whitfield (pictured) had the genius idea to create a Méthode Traditionelle Cider – and bottle it as you would a classic sparkling wine - as a surprise for his daughter Alexandra’s (pictured) wedding earlier this year.

Called Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle, it’s described as having “the finest of bubbles” and being “elegant with bright apple sorbet, strawberry and gently caramelised nuts, enhanced by a buttery brioche character”.

The ballerina pink sip went down a treat with the bride and groom’s guests – and the judges of the 11th International Cider Challenge in London, which is touted as being “the world's premier apple cider competition”.

It was named the Supreme Champion for 2021 out of 150 entries from 18 different countries around the globe. It also won the Rose Trophy as the best cider made in a rose style.

The limited-release Alexandra Blush Methode Traditionelle Cider, and a drier Alexandra Brut, will be available for purchase in spring.


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