McCarthy’s Orchard is in the world renowned wine region of McLaren Vale in South Australia. It’s not what you would call a typical apple growing region. Yet where there are apples, cider follows.

The McLaren Vale region is a little hotter than the near by Adelaide Hills. This has a noticeable effect on the apples. They tend not to get the colour of their cousins, meaning the supermarkets aren’t as keen on them. The hotter temperatures mean that the sugar content is a little higher, perfect for cider production.

The orchard isn’t just an apple orchard. There are also plenty of stone fruits and a few 50- year-old grape vines.
McCarthy’s Orchard Apple Cider only use the apples grown on site . Mark McCarthy, the owner of the orchard told me that the cider started as a bit of a fun side project and has evolved into a way to deal with the apples rejected for the increasingly fussy supermarkets.

Although the apples are grown on the site they are fermented at a near by winery in their off season. During the ferment, McCarthy’s Orchard Apple Cider spends a bit time on lees. It is fermented till dry, then a dash of fresh juice is added to balance it out. Like all real ciders is gluten free and vegan-friendly, which is stating the obvious for a drink that is only made from real apples.McCarthy's Orchard Cider

The Nose

Out of the bottle, there is a lot of crisp apple scents bursting out. It was like the first bite out of a granny smith. The scent peaks early and fades out as the froth from the pour dies down. What is left is a yeasty undertone.

The Taste

Like the scent, this one evolves quickly. It starts off with the acids show on. I was sure that there was a healthy dose of Granny Smith in there. Mark confirmed that I wasn’t going crazy, the grannies are there to bulk it out a little bit. A few moments later the time on lees shows up as a toastiness or nuttiness. This is complemented by the Abbas apples which are also famed for their nutty tastes. Not obviously sweet just a lot of fruity tones. A reasonably clean aftertaste with just enough lingering so you know what you’re drinking.

Final Thoughts on the McCarthy’s Orchard Apple Cider

At first slip, you might think you have drunk this cider before. But concentrate on the those Abbas apples and that toastiness. That’s what sets this cider apart. While it is super easy to drink and is going to please most people, I’d recommend it for the cider geeks out there. Because it uses a similar recipe to some the ciders from Adelaide Hills but it must be something about the different climate makes for an interesting comparison.


Product McCarthy’s Orchards Apple Cider
Company McCarthy’s Orchards
Sweetness Medium Dry
Alc/Vol 5.1%
Country of Origin Australia
Region McLaren Vale, South Australia

Don’t forget to get your Real Cider Reviews merch