Award-winning cider-maker Zeffer has taken a big step forward in moving its operations closer to its apples.
The company, currently based in North Auckland, revealed it had secured a new site for its cidery in Twyford, Hawke’s Bay, taking up a site previously used by Yealands’ Crossroads Winery.
Zeffer Cider, which scooped a clutch of international awards for its products earlier this year, said the search for a new home had taken longer than anticipated. A spokesperson said: “We wanted to ensure we were able to secure a site that would allow us to hit our volume projections and set us up for future growth.
The company said the move had been helped by the ability to purchase all the equipment at the new property, including some good capacity tanks which allowed it to increase cider production to 1,500,000 litres per year.
“It’s really to our advantage not to have to purchase additional tanks and keeps our capital expenditure on track. Half of our team is already down in Hawkes Bay and it will be good for us all to be together in the one spot.”
Zeffer is planning to move its bottling line over to the new site later in July, and will also replace the front vineyard with 1,500 cider apple trees to create its own ‘home block’ cider apple orchard. Cider production is set to begin on August 1.
“Crossroads had a popular cellar door with regular visitors so we look forward to getting our own cidery door opened too,” said the spokesperson.
Yealands has retained the Crossroads brand and business which it has moved down to Marlborough with the rest of the Yealands business. It’s understood they will still make use of their existing grape-growing contracts with Hawke’s Bay producers and transport grapes to Marlborough.
Head cidermaker Jody Scott said: “The move will give us huge scope to increase innovation and quality.
“The location is right at the source for the best quality and tastiest apples for cider, and this abundance of quality produce will inspire many more limited-release ciders.
“The site itself takes Zeffer to a whole new level because we have state-of-the-art technology going into the site. We can meet growth demands, and to top it all off we have a new home block orchard being planted up with the best apple trees that will create exciting complex ciders.”