Apple Tree Cider


A qualified wine maker, Sam was introduced to cider while he was working for the Hugel family in Alsace, France. Wine makers since 1639, the Hugel family taught Sam about the importance of tradition as well as some innovative wine making techniques. For a boy from New Zealand who claims he never really drank wine except at Christmas or from a cask at uni, this was a real eye opener.

After tasting a traditional French cider for the first time, Sam thought wow, cider can be great. Unlike many English styled ciders, which often tend to be very dry, French ciders have a crisp fuller fruit flavour with a hint of sweetness.

On his return to New Zealand Sam saw there was a gap in the drinks market, especially for women and cider was the obvious answer. Sam wanted to create a light and refreshing drink his mum would enjoy. Sam had a play around and one thing led to another and Apple Tree Cider was born.



Apple Tree Cider is made from Hawke’s Bay Braeburn apples with a hint of elderflower which is sourced from the South Island. Braeburns were chosen for their crisp acidity and full flavour.

As a wine maker by trade Sam likes to think each vintage is slightly different with a crisper more tart flavour from cold seasons to more tropical flavours with a warm autumn.

The first vintage in 2009 comprised of 8,000 bottles, a number that has steadily increased each year. Apple Tree Cider is sold in cafes, restaurants and supermarkets throughout New Zealand.  

Learn more about this Apple Tree Cider products.


Sam Cooney  Founder Apple Tree Cider
Our ciders have a crisp fuller fruit flavour with a hint of sweetness.