by Huon Valley
Not all 4th generation farmers are willing to make the big decisions, that to some people may seem like a risk. This is not the case with Andrew Smith.
“The industry when I started was in demise and production was under threat from emerging economies. (I’ve) Simply been moving and changing to stay in the game.”
Over the last 26 years, Andrew has continually innovated the family business, which now lays claim to being the largest organic apple grower in the country. It also turns out with a bit of know how, lots of passion and some of that trademark determination, you can make an amazing cider.
Keeping a very keen eye on a category that is experiencing a major resurgence, Andrew and his business partner Sam Reid set out to create Australia’s first certified organic cider. With Andrew’s foresight, he had already converted the same orchard that his great grandfather had established in 1888 to organic practices. To be organic, Willie Smiths grows and processes its apples without the use of any synthetic chemicals or GMOs.
Willie Smiths cider is made from fruit grown on the family farm – which is also where the crushing, fermenting, ageing and bottling takes place.
At the Cider Australia Awards 2015, the Willie Smith’s ‘18 Varieties Cider’ took out the 3 top awards – Best in Show, Best Cider & Best Australian Cider or Perry.
The Apple Shed
The best place to taste Willie Smith’s Cider? That would be The Apple Shed – the cider-maker’s cellar door and apple museum located on the main highway as you enter the Huon Valley.
Originally built in 1942, the building was restored by Willie Smith’s and remade into a place where you can enjoy some of Tasmania’s best food and drink, then take in the Huon Valley’s incredible apple history.
The Apple Shed also plays host to the Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival in July each year. With event partners including MONA, The Apple Shed and surrounding property is transformed into a weekend of feasting, entertainment and wassailing – that is traditionally to ensure a bumper apple crop for the season ahead.
I believe… Farmers have a responsibility to feed the world, food must be as good as it can be but ultimately safe.
- Andrew Smith