Our Story

Redwood Cider Co. loves cider; it’s as simple as that. Which is why cider is all we do. We think about it, scheme about it, dream about it and occasionally, we just enjoy it – all in the name of research, of course.

We’re NZ’s experts and innovators of cider. We’ve been making the stuff since 1947, so we’ve learned a thing or two about fermenting fruit, and snapped up a few medals along the way.

With our roots firmly planted in Nelson’s Redwood Valley – where the sunshine hours are long and the fruit is picked at its juicy best – we spend our days working hard to craft a damn tasty bunch of ciders to suit all tastes and times.

We believe everyone should respect differences in opinion, however, we’re not convinced that those who are yet to try cider are entitled to one. But seriously, we’re that passionate about our ciders, we simply can’t see what’s not to like.

Out of our dedicated cidery comes the country’s largest and broadest portfolio of cider brands. Talk to us today about how we can make your total offering a damn good one, and give your customers something they’ll return for.

David Sax – Chief Cidermaker

David in orchard-crop

David grew up in rural England and has fond memories of making cider in the family farmhouse kitchen with his parents. His interest in wines, ciders and beer grew, and as a teenager he mastered the production of a range of home brewed beverages.


David successfully graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Science degree, and in 1992 won a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship – which gave him opportunity to have tea with the late Queen Mother and (more importantly) to study postgraduate viticulture and winemaking at New Zealand’s Lincoln University.


David soon realised that both fermentation technology and New Zealand would play big parts in his life. He moved permanently to New Zealand in 2004, is married to wife Deborah, and they have since produced two beautiful kiwi chicks.


With a career in winemaking that spans 18 years and multiple continents – the United Kingdom, Europe, Chile and New Zealand – David is no stranger to a diverse range of wine styles  – and both wines and ciders fermented from a diverse range of fruits.


At Redwood Cider Co, David is the chief cider maker.  It’s his responsibility to ensure that NZ’s largest dedicated cidery, leads the cider category in ‘innovation’. He and his team of passionate, expert cider makers must produce great tasting, unique New Zealand ciders. It is David’s job to ensure the cidery keeps up with volume and quality demands across the whole portfolio of ciders.


David believes that this is a really exciting time for cider in New Zealand and is thrilled to be playing a pivotal part in the Redwood Cider team.


David adds “I love the diversity of styles within the cider category. When you include the ciders blended with fruit wines – the possibilities are really endless. My favourite cider is Old Mout Scrumpy – I love the intensity of delicious Nelson apples. My perfect cider/food match would have to be Scallops poached in Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider, wrapped in streaky bacon with Kumara mashed potato. Accompanied by a glass or two of cold Monteith’s Crushed Pear Cider.

Richard Brown – Production Manager

Richard eating an apple

Richard’s previous career was in horticulture; both growing and post-harvest operations in Motueka.


In November 2008 Richard agreed to a 6 month contract with Redwood Cellars to establish Wine and Food Safety systems and he’s been here ever since.


Richard is responsible for all Operations at Redwood Cider Company’s home base situated on the Moutere Highway in Nelson


Richard has witnessed significant growth during his four years working with the Old Mout Cider team – and is looking forward to continuing challenges and successes for Redwood Cider.


According to Richard, cider is the ideal refreshment during Nelson’s hot sunny days. Currently his favorite is Old Mout Cranberry & Cider but this summer he has a feeling that Old Mout Passionfruit & Cider will take over.

Merophy Hyslop – Cidermaker & Innovator

Merophy in orchard-2

Having always had an interested in cider and growing up with a small orchard at her family home; Merophy made best use of those apples and made delicious cider every year to share with family and friends.


However, Merophy didn’t begin her professional career making cider. Having finished her degree in winemaking in 2000, she then spent 8 years working in the wine industry. Travelling extensively following the grape harvest around the world, but with a huge passion for cider, she ventured to the famous Cidermaking areas in England and northern France whilst in Europe. Merophy eventually came home to NZ and settled in Nelson for 4 years.


Merophy ended up with Redwood Cider Co. by chance and simply because she loves cider! After another 6 month trip around the world she was in need of a change of scene. Taking a chance and dropping into the cidery one day armed with her CV, a follow-up phone call (almost immediately) resulted in Merophy becoming Cidermaker & Innovator of Redwood Cellars. Merophy acknowledges the job was the chance of a lifetime and it has been an amazing experience growing with the company, now known as Redwood Cider Co.


When Merophy joined in 2009, the then-Redwood Cellars produced just under 1 million litres of cider and in 2012 are now producing close to 10 million litres per year! Merophy’s job involves the day-to-day implementation of cider making as well as her favourite part – New Product Development – it’s her job to put new cider ideas into action. Her first (and, arguably, most popular) new product development was Old Mout Boysencider and this remains her favourite cider in the range to date.

Shane Topp – Group Sales Manager

Shane in dispatch-close2cropped

Shane was born in Greymouth (yes, the home of Monteith’s) the same year Apollo 14 landed on the moon and internet chat rooms first appeared. He was then schooled in Wellington and still supports Wellington in all sports to this day.


Shane was first introduced to Old Mout Cider during his time as GM of the Sales & Marketing company that looked after the Redwood Cellars portfolio. He fell in love with the product, the brand personality, the culture, the challenges and opportunities; and the rest is history.


Shane says his favourite cider is Old Mout Classic Apple and likes to pair it with a BBQ Lamb Leg.

Monteiths Rekorderlig Cider Old Theives Old Mout