Stonewell, the Irish craft cider maker based near Kinsale, has secured an award win in the prestigious Blas na hEireann National Irish Food Awards, hot on the heels of its export deal with Qualita Club of Verona, Italy.
The final judging of the Blas na hEireann National Irish Food Awards took place recently at the Dingle Food Festival, 5-7th October 2012. Cider, its first year as a category within the awards, was hotly contested by a field of 10 producers from across the island. The cider’s ranged from the traditional in style to the modern and from the exceptionally dry to the sweet. Stonewell Medium Dry Cider was one of but 3 recognised as pre-eminent amongst its peers, securing the bronze for this small Cork based firm.
The presentation of the award came days after Stonewell had concluded an export agreement with Qualita Club. The specialist distributor, based in Verona northern Italy, sources small artisanal producers across Europe from within the food and drink sectors which it skilfully introduces into its local market. Qualita Club has selected Stonewell as the sole craft cider within its portfolio as it seeks to build on the Italian consumers increasing awareness of cider, a fledgling element of the local drinks’ sector. This agreement is core to Stonewell’s objective of achieving 40% exports by turnover.
“It was astounding to have such good news in so short a period of time” stated Daniel Emerson, head cider maker and Stonewell proprietor. “Despite the strong headwinds, it is encouraging to see that small Irish food businesses are still able to compete, perform and appeal at a national and prospectively an international level. Whilst still very early days we hope to be able to maintain our momentum and become a dynamic company within our community, working with Irish suppliers, using traditional methods and generating net income for the country” Daniel concluded.
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