The cider guy

Meet David Sax, the man be­hind some of New Zealand’s most loved and in­no­va­tive ciders.

Good - - DRINKS -

C ider­maker and wine­maker David Sax orig­i­nally hails from Eng­land but Nel­son is now home. For the past seven years he’s been chief ci­der­maker at Red­wood Cider Co. in Nel­son, which pro­duces Or­chard Thieves, Mon­teith’s, Old Mout and Reko­rderlig.

His first ex­pe­ri­ence of mak­ing cider was in the fam­ily farm­house kitchen with his par­ents. To­day he over­sees the cider pro­duc­tion at Red­wood and thanks to the re­gion’s abun­dance of fresh fruit, most of the in­gre­di­ents come from within a 30-kilo­me­tre ra­dius of the cidery.

What do you love most about mak­ing cider?

I re­ally en­joy the abun­dance of in­no­va­tion in the cider cat­e­gory. Not only are there so many styles of ap­ple cider that can be made, but be­ing able to work with other fruits (to blend into cider) adds so many pos­si­bil­i­ties.

What was the type of cider that you used to make at home in Eng­land?

A pretty rough style of cider! It was hand-pressed from the large ap­ple tree grow­ing in the gar­den. It was my first ex­pe­ri­ence with fer­men­ta­tion and lit­tle did I know it would be my fu­ture ca­reer.

What makes a good cider in your opin­ion?

A good cider is re­fresh­ing, with clean, ap­ple char­ac­ters. A great cider man­ages to add depth and com­plex­ity to that.

How did you end up spe­cial­is­ing in cider?

It wasn’t too long af­ter Marl­bor­ough’s enor­mous 2008 grape har­vest (and over-sup­ply), which gave the wine in­dus­try quite a wake-up call. Cider was just start­ing its huge growth in pop­u­lar­ity – and I just hap­pened to be of­fered a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity at Red­wood Cidery, in beau­ti­ful, sunny Nel­son.

What’s the most re­cent ex­cit­ing in­no­va­tion to come out of Red­wood Cidery?

The re­cent re­lease of the Mon­teith’s 750ml Sparkling Ciders, which in­cluded a brut style and a rosé (which is made with a dash of cran­berry wine). These are both el­e­gant cel­e­bra­tion-style ciders at eight per cent ABV, which of­fer an ex­cel­lent al­ter­na­tive to sparkling wine. We are very ex­cited about the launch of these.

How is cider dif­fer­ent from beer mak­ing?

A good ques­tion. Cider and beer are sold side by side, but their meth­ods of pro­duc­tion are very dif­fer­ent. Cider is fer­mented from ap­ple juice, much like wine is fer­mented from grape juice.

Whereas, just as you “brew” a cup of tea or cof­fee, the ini­tial stages of mak­ing beer in­volves a brew­ing process – us­ing boil­ing water.

What is your favourite cider?

I am a big fan of tra­di­tional cider styles, but I also have a soft spot for our Old Mout Pas­sion­fruit & Cider. It has per­formed well in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions and I love the in­te­gra­tion of the trop­i­cal char­ac­ters with the Nel­son ap­ples.

What is your favourite food pair­ing with cider?

My favourite food pair­ing at the mo­ment is with the Mon­teith’s Sparkling Brut Cu­vée Cider – a cel­e­bra­tion-style cider. This goes so well with smoked salmon, scal­lops and other sum­mer favourites.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.