Abel Cider – All The Way From New Zealand
For The Exotic, Adventurous and Different
This global pandemic has affected two consumer areas massively – travel and hospitality.
Cider Is Wine has added a touch of adventure to those by helping Abel Méthode Cider to be imported and distributed in the UK from New Zealand.
When Mark McGill, Abel’s award-winning cidermaker, approached Cider Is Wine, having lost 90% of his business overnight through the pandemic, both businesses saw the opportunity to market in the UK – the biggest cider market in the world.
We mostly think of Sauvignon Blanc or Old Mout Cider when we consider alcohol from New Zealand – Abel Method is neither aromatic wine nor diluted juice cider, but made like wine – Champagne actually – and from apples and pears.
Made in small quantities once a year from freshly harvested, hand-picked apples and pears, using predominantly heritage varieties that have been grown near exotic holiday-city Nelson, New Zealand, for over 120 years. These include Cox’s Orange Pippin, Sturmer, Kingston Black, Foxwhelp, Bisquet, Winter Nellis, Winter Cole, and others in small amounts.
Crushed and fermented exclusively from those apples and pears in stainless steel to extract the full fruit flavour, the cider undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle – like Champagne – for 12 to 18 months prior to release.
A true artisan cider with no added water, juice concentrates or other fruit, it’s also gluten free, vegetarian and vegan friendly – so unlike any commercial cider made from limited amounts of juice or concentrate.
Its maker is adventurous and so is the cider – the difference is in the taste!
Non-disgorged, the result is a bone-dry fine cider that’s refreshing and full of flavour with an ageing potential of 5-10 years.
Later this year Cider Is Wine and Abel will be hosting a virtual live online tasting, beamed all the way from Nelson, north of the South Island, guaranteed to intrigue consumers with views of the fabulous vistas from the Abel property and orchards, followed by a tour to the cidery and a tasting with Mark.
It’s travel, tourism and tasting wrapped up into one for a hundredth of the cost of a flight and time taken to visit in person – and a great way to celebrate, surprise and delight!
More About Abel Cider
Abel was founded in 2008 by Mark & Sophie McGill, both with wine industry backgrounds, because they struggled to find anything on the market that actually tasted like the fruit it was made from.
New Zealand is renowned for its delicious apples and pears, and the Nelson region plays a massive part in this, so they set out with the objective of showcasing the best of New Zealand’s apples and pears in a delicious and refreshing cider.
The company’s first commercial release was the 2015 vintage, simply because it took all of 7 years to really perfect a cider that truly represented New Zealand, using their knowledge of the winemaking process to do this.
Says Mark McGill, “Our vision is to get cider out of the beer fridge and drunk as an alternative to wine. We’re all about showcasing the fruit – in this case the Nelson region’s napples and pears – and I like to think of our cider as a lower-in-alcohol alternative to sparkling wine.”
Abel Méthode Cider: A Selection of Quotes
“Mark and Sophie McGill are proven gurus when it comes to making great quality cider. That’s their background, that’s their strength.” Yvonne Lorkin, Wine Editor
“Bone dry and full of lightning-fresh green apple, tangy pear and a crisp, refreshing finish. I would say minerality as I’m struggling for another word for fresh. This is so damn refreshing!” Ben Franks Wine (UK)
“…by treating the product like a fine sparkling wine (read: gentle fruit handling, secondary bottle fermentation, un-fined, unfiltered), they’ve crafted a drop that’s bone dry, approachable and also compelling. Drink this alongside some of your favourite cheese.” Blackhearts & Sparrows
“Best dry cider I have ever had. A serious cider fermented on its skins with an interesting floral nose and a dry clean finish that will keep you looking for your glass.” @hopngrape
“Abel Cider makers do one thing and they do it bloody well. They make apple cider, fully fermented with skins, seeds and stems, with zero sugar, water or concentrate added, bottle fermented and aged just like Champagne. Trust us when we say there are very few other cider companies making a product this natural… smells like a cross between a dry white wine, and juicy apple, the palate is bone dry with racing acidity finishing very crisp.” Fine Wine Delivery Co
“Best International Cider of 2017: Abel Methode Cider… Sophisticated yet edgy yet perfectly balanced.” @realciderreviews
“One for wine lovers as well as cider fans.” Jo Burzynska, Wine Editor