Cider house a winner to the core

Core Cider House owners John Della Franca and Emily Lyons celebrate their success. Picture: Matthew Poon d298140
Core Cider House owners John Della Franca and Emily Lyons celebrate their success. Picture: Matthew Poon d298140

After winning a gold medal in the Tourism Restaurant category last year, the popular family-run business downed a crack field of entrants to take out the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category at last Saturday’s 2013 awards at Crown Perth.

Core Cider House has been in Pickering Brook since Italian immigrant Jack Della Franca bought land that would later become High Vale Orchard in 1939.

The business now combines an award-winning restaurant with 16ha of sweeping apple orchard views, cellar door sales and orchard and cidery tours in a complete package for visitors.

Third-generation orchar-dist and brewer John Della Franca (48), with his wife, Emily Lyons, run Core Cider House and, with a team of dedicated staff, have been making homemade, award-winning organic cider since 2005.

Core Cider, one of just three cider producers in WA, trumped competition from some of the state’s best wineries to win the category, including the Swan Valley’s Sandalford Winery and Elmar’s in the Valley. Other nominees included Margaret River institutions Laurence Wines and Voyager Estate.

Core also won a bronze medal in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services section, a category in which it won gold at last year’s awards.

Ms Lyons said winning another two tourism awards was a credit to all those who worked so hard at Core.

‘We have a great team and it’s exciting to win back-to-back gold medals,’ she said.

Several local events were finalists in their respective categories of the tourism awards.

The Avon Valley Gourmet Food and Wine Festival and the Avon Valley Vintage Festival were finalists in the Festivals and Events category; Kalamunda Farmers Market, a silver medallist last year, was a finalist in Specialised Tourism Services; the Zig Zag Cultural Centre was a finalist in Visitor Information and Services; Shire of Kalamunda was a finalist in the Local Government Award for Tourism; and the Kalamunda Farmers Market was a finalist in Excellence in Food Tourism.

Perth’s Festival of Cycling, which included the National Masters Track Championships at Midland’s Speed Dome in April, won a silver medal in the Major Festivals and Events category.