By Kate Foreman
A side project involving eight Limestone Coast locals is proving a real ‘bottler’!
They use apples from Kalangadoo to bottle cider in the Coonawarra – coming up with a brand name was easy.
“For all of us it’s a side project… hence The Cide Project,” says Jamie McDonald.
Jamie and Sally McDonald, Jamie’s parents Peter and Carol McDonald, Joe and Anita Cory, and Steve and Emma Raidis are the ‘workforce’ behind the venture where they use their mixed bag of skills to drive success.
“Our back label elaborates,” says Jamie, “From cubby houses to old school autos to renovations at home. Screenplays, art projects and that guitar that gathers more dust than you’d like to admit – side projects are a time honoured tradition.
“And that’s what our Cide Project is all about – tradition. It is traditional apple cider, using traditional tools and techniques to create it.”
As a winemaker Joe managers the creation of the cider, while Sally and Jamie use their marketing skills to build the brand.
Peter and Carol have a long history in horticulture and own a small orchard in Kalangadoo, while Steve and Emma are skilled in viticulture and the wine industry, and Anita is a nurse.
They all have a love for cider.
“Our cider is made from 100% apples, it’s very important that we differentiate ourselves from commercial cider, that is typically made from concentrate imported from China, and then diluted,” says Jamie.
“In 2014 we produced a very small batch of 100 litres to do some experimenting with and then in 2015 we produced our first commercial release; a dry vintage cider, with around 2000, 500mL bottles.”
The team do everything from picking to packaging and has recently finished crushing and pressing 5000 bottles for their 2016 vintage.
“We are grateful for the opportunities that we’ve had to grow our brand in the Limestone Coast, and we were invited to participate in the inaugural Rail Lands pop-up event in January,” says Jamie.
“We will also be at the Robe Home Brew and Craft Beer Festival in September, where we will have our 2016 Dry Vintage cider, along with something new.”
The Cide Project team are looking to plant more trees, which will allow them to go from just a few tonne of fruit to upwards of 20 tonne in the next few years.
“We will continue to focus on the Limestone Coast for our sales and events,” Jamie adds.
“For Sally and myself, the pull to return to the Limestone Coast was strong – it is a terrific part of the world, and with a great group of friends and family it is possible to do anything.”