from Franks, Australia
It's all in the name. Frank planted his orchard after the first world war and apple growing and cider making has been in the family ever since. Naomie and Tony are proudly Tasmanian- the fruit is 100% Tasmanian sourced and it's not called the Apple Isle for nothing! A cool climate and a long growing season gives maximum flavour to the apples and this means tasty cider. Franks ciders are clean and fresh and accessible. Not too sweet, not too dry, they are suitable for many different occasions and you don't need to be a cider expert to appreciate them. They have won many awards, Tassie's most awarded cider in fact, and this means they are the bomb so have a taste!
Listen on the go - Interview with Naomie Clark
Nathaniel: Okay, all right, let's go then. Thank you very much for taking a few minutes out to have a chat to us. Just wanted to start with a little bit about your background. So, what's your background and how did you get into this?
Naomie: Okay. Well, my family has been in the Huon Valley in Tassie for – well, my children are sixth generation, so that makes me fifth generation on our farm. My great-great grandfather was the first white settler in our valley, so I guess I'm pretty passionate about being here on the farm. They started commercial orcharding in the 1850s and made some cider back then, but not on a commercial basis. I guess we got into the commercial side of things when we could see that cider was making a resurgence, and my husband, Tony, his dad used to make cider commercially in the 70s. So, he was a bit passionate and interested, and so, between us, we just went for it.
Nathaniel: And so, who's Frank?
Naomie: Frank was my grandpa. So, he was the third generation of the Clark family, and he was a first war veteran. He was born in the late 1890s, so he went to the first war, and that's why we're doing a centenary release at the moment – to honour the fact that he went to the first war. And when we came back – there was already an orchard here, but when he came back from the first war, he planted a lot more orchards, and we still actually harvest fruit from some of the trees that he planted.
Nathaniel: Oh, wow. That's amazing. So, what was the inspiration to name the cider after him?
Naomie: Well, we live in a little town called Franklin, so Frank's from Franklin was sort of a bit catchy. But we actually did market research, and our target market—the people we asked to give us their opinion—both independently, the men and the women, said, "Call it Frank's. We like it." So, from there, we thought, "Well, we don't need to make up a story, because we have a true one."
Nathaniel: Yeah, that's great. And so, what would you say is unique or different about what you're doing in the market?
Naomie: Well, because we've got the family story, and it's a heritage story and we grow heritage fruit I guess is a bit fortunate, because a lot of people don't have control over their own fruit. Because we own the orchard, we can actually tree ripen our fruit, and the big thing we're doing is leaving our fruit on the trees to develop the maximum flavour. So, people talk about cool-climate wine, well, we talk about cool-climate cider, and in Tassie, the cool nights and the long growing season means that our fruit's got the maximum flavour when it's picked, and that transfers into our cider.
Nathaniel: Right, okay. And so, how would you say to someone who's going to drink your cider – how would you recommend that they best enjoy it?
Naomie: Well, it's best cold, of course. Well, some people actually don't recommend their cider to be cold, but I think ours is best really chilled, with ice if you have to. It's crisp, it's refreshing, it's sparkling, it doesn't leave any sort of taste on the – well, I shouldn't say taste on the palate, but you know, doesn't leave a texture on the palate. It's just crisp and clean and medium sweet. So many people will say to us, "Oh, thank heavens your cider's not too sweet." They're not looking for sticky. They're looking for fruity.
Nathaniel: And what would you say the future holds for you and for Frank's Cider?
Naomie: Well, we will always be a boutique cider. We're not looking to be a worldwide brand; not interested in that. But we're fiercely Tasmanian, and so we're a premium Tasmanian product. We're actually Tasmania's most awarded cider, and so we're just looking to stay at that top end – and not that we mind who drinks our cider, but we are definitely a premium product and that's where we intend to stay. We're not interested in doing a scrumpy or farmhouse-style cider, that's not us. We like to be clean and green and sparkling. We're more a champagne-style I guess. We're not allowed to call it that.
Nathaniel: Yum. Okay. Sounds good, great. Thank you. That's my five questions, thank you very much.