This year’s International Cider Challenge attracted a record number of entrants from around the world and a large number of these are now celebrating after impressing the panel of judges and scooping up prestigious medals for their ciders. One of these being, the newly launched Loxtonia Cider. Loxtonia Cider, based in the Ceres Valley, South Africa is a brand that places their philosophy “Orchard to Bottle” at the heart of all that they do. With their innovative flavours and out the box thinking, the team believe that there is a gap in the South African cider market for a premium, natural cider with no preservatives or artificial additives.
The competition, run by Drinks Retailing News magazine, is now in its tenth year and judges praised the consistent quality of the 281 entries this time around. The panel of judges comprised supermarket buyers, independent retailers, cider experts, journalists and cidermakers. Many of the entries came from the more traditional cider nations, such as the UK, Ireland and France, but entries also arrived from as far afield as Germany, Canada, Spain, Austria, South Africa, Slovakia, USA, Taiwan, Estonia, Poland and South Africa; reflecting the truly international reach cider now enjoys. Each cider was blind-tasted by the panel of judges, which awarded 12 Gold medals, 75 Silver and 96 Bronzes.
Loxtonia Cider took home two silver medals for their Crispy Apple Cider and their Sparkling Apple Cider, as well as a bronze for the African Sundowner Baobab flavoured Apple Cider. “In terms of ciders we could see some really interesting innovation coming through. Flavoured ciders are popular and although berry flavours are the most common here in the UK, we had all sorts of flavours coming through, particularly from our international entries. There were ciders flavoured with sour cherry, cucumber and also Pinot Noir skins. It gave the judges an opportunity to try things that haven’t been available in the UK before, which is really interesting.”
Loxtonia Cider comments, “As our first international competition entry, we are so proud of our achievements and excited for journey ahead as we represent South Africa cider internationally.”
“The ICC is a trusted competition for the cider category and with the event now marking its tenth year, it is truly regarded as the most authoritative and leading global packaged cider competition. “Many congratulations for all of this year’s winners and we would also like to thank Gabe and the judges for their continued support.” A full list of results can be found at www.internationalciderchallenge.com