Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island and its closest point to the mainland is the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is 13 km south of South Australia. Although it may come across as bleak and windswept, it has has developed as an ecological sanctuary save for the introduction of some foreign flora and fauna, including the world’s purest population of European Ligurian honey bees.
Kangaroo Island is also several thousand kilometers away from the Gold Coast, which is where we were headed initially, but we had other hopes in mind whilst we were searching for the local boutique brewery. Thankfully, this venture ended when we spied a nearby sign extolling Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery. We thought our luck was in, but alas, it produced eucalyptus oil rather than a eucalyptus tipple. luckily for us though, all was not lost. The associated gift shop agreed to include a cellar door offering the local Colony Cove cider range.
Originally, the orchard started out with only a few apple trees planted in 2004 by Adelaide academic Professor Graham Jones, but now it has now expanded to over 400 trees of 30 English cider varieties including Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black, Somerset Red Streak, Blenheim Orange, Improved Fox Whelp and King David. Measures, such as protective fences, also have to be used to ensure that the trees are protected from non-English pests such as Kangaroos and Possums.
Colony Cove produces two types of cider and a non-alcoholic sparkling apple juice. They are all made from juice that is pressed from the apples from the orchard, but then the ciders are cooled and fermented, using wine yeasts plus natural wild yeasts. It is then carbonated, making it slightly cloudy with that dry and tart flavor, as a boutique cider should be, but still being a refreshing beverage, similar to champagne.
These two ciders have been awarded bronze and silver medals by the Adelaide Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society, and at the Australian Cider Awards.
Sadly, these products are only available on Kangaroo Island at the Emu Ridge cellar door, local Kangaroo Island restaurants, or at selected outlets in South Australia.
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