BUILDING from knowledge gained in the winemaking industry and transferring it over to Tasmania’s “best fruit”, Plenty Cider is bringing its enthusiasm for the industry to the Derwent Valley and keeping it local too.
Adam and Grace D’Arcy have been quietly developing Plenty Cider since it was first showcased at Taste of Tasmania and the Hamilton Show in 2019.
The pair bring a mix of local know-how and interstate flair to their product, Grace being born and bred in the Derwent Valley, the Plenty Cidery being located on the family farm, while opportunity as a contract cider maker brought Adam to the state from Adelaide.
Coming with a host of experience from roles across Australia, which included time at Willie Smith’s as a production manager, Adam began the Plenty Cider journey experimenting with his own style of cider in his shed on the family farm.
“I’ve seen the traditional style, I saw the new-world style of ciders, we’ve had a European cider trip to inspire us to where we wanted to head and what ciders we wanted to make,” Mr D’Arcy said.
“When I came to Tasmania and saw how awesome it was, I saw an opportunity to lead a growing category in Tasmania, where the best fruit was available.
“I liked cider before I started here, but since making it, I’ve become very passionate. “I’ve begun to see the similarities with winemaking – you’re taking a raw fruit, you’re pressing it, juicing it, fermenting it, you’re crafting a unique product that can be unique to the variety of fruit, or the area.”
While they grow apples of their own at their family farm, Plenty Cider takes the majority of its produce from Reid Fruits, the apples coming from the orchards across Glenora Road.
“The most important thing for us, whether you’re a traditionalist, or in to the new-world ciders is that you’re using Australian fruit, we’re really trying to focus on using ng fruit from the Derwent Valley,” Mr D’Arcy said.
The plan for the future of Plenty Cider is based around expansion – building their operation and distribution as they gather experience.
Having only opened their cidery in June this year, Adam and Grace are focused on developing their presence as a local favourite in the Derwent Valley, with weekends typically seeing the brewers’ hosting events with live music and food vans in their outdoor setting.
Once they build up steam, the team at Plenty Cider are more than equipped to handle the growth and are certain the fact they have established and grown their business in one of the most challenging times for tourism, will set them up to be resilient in the future.
“We want to continue to develop our brand. “We’re still in our infancy, and it’s been a challenging time with Covid, with the lack of tourism, but if we can start up in this time, we think it puts us in a good spot to come out the other side of it stronger and really begin to grow,” Mr D’Arcy said.
“At this stage, we are quite a small operation, we produce about 30,000 litres a year, which comes across as about 40-50 tonne of fruit across all our batches, which isn’t a huge amount, but we can put about 4.5 tonnes of apples though our press, we have our own bottle filling line where we can bottle 1800 bottles an hour, which is about 3000 litres per day.
“We’ve really kept out sales confined to Tasmania. The idea is that we can eventually scale up to the mainland, to up the volume, incorporate a sales team and really grow from here, that’s why we’ve got the equipment that we have.
“We’re proud to be here in the Derwent Valley, the wine region has always been top notch in this area and now there’s new breweries, new distilleries opening.
“I think this area has been crying out for more things like this for a long time, and now we’re here, the local support we’ve had has been fantastic.”