At Paynter’s Cider we’re trying to make the best cider in New Zealand and one day, the best cider in the world.

Our wine industry has already proven that’s possible. In Hawke’s Bay we have a wonderful climate, rich fertile soils and abundant water – it’s apple growing paradise. We know we can grow the best apples, so why can’t we make the best cider?

Great cider can’t be made in 6 weeks, like some commercial guys do. It needs at least 6 months in the bottle, and a year is better still.

Try Paynter’s Cider and let us know how we’re going.

Our formula is simple:


Cider how it should be


At Paynter’s Cider we grow Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Tremlett’s Bitter, Broxwood Foxwhelp, Sidero, Slack Ma Girdle, Chisel Jersey, Bordes, Sweet Alford, Bisquet, C’hero ru Bihan, Fuero Rous and a whole lot besides.

They are all terrible to grow; upright, biennial, small, generally foul tasting, set poor crops and fall on the ground 2 weeks before they are ripe.

Not many people will follow me in planting these apples. It’s too hard and apple juice concentrate is really cheap.



I’m a 5th generation fruit grower and cider nut.  It’s my job to grow exceptional fruit…and to pay the bills.


Paynter’s cider is made under contract by the good guys at Linden Estate in Eskdale. “Go with Trevor” we were told, “He’s fearless”. We did and he is. Trevor gave up his trade to pursue his passion for wine; initially working for free, just to get experience.


Nicola is an international traveller, CRI technician, winery lab technician, sailor and nurse. Don’t ask me to explain. Without her technical knowhow, great palate and enduring friendship, Paynter’s Cider wouldn’t exist. In the beginning there was only my idea and Nicola’s knowhow. It took about 4 years trialling stuff in the back shed before the first commercial batch made in 2013.


Brett – My brother in law Brett at Giddyup Illustration and Design has done all the art for Paynter’s Cider. He can doodle like you wouldn’t believe.


The Paynters arrived in NZ from the English West Country in 1841.

Soon thereafter, we started growing apples, firstly on the main road in Stoke, then, since 1904, just outside Hastings. We’re now the largest family-owned fruit company in NZ, farming more than 700 hectares. We’re probably best known for the ‘Yummy’ brand of fruit which we launched in 1974.

In 2006 I saw some cider apples in a garden centre and it got me to thinking. Winemakers always say ‘great wine is made in the vineyard’ and if that’s so, then great cider is made in the orchard. So I bought and planted the trees, then set about sourcing every cider apple I could find in New Zealand.

Once we had fruit Nicola and I started fermenting, and fermenting, and fermenting – about 20 apple varieties, a dozen yeasts, cool ferments, warm ferments, wild ferments…and now we know almost nothing, which is some progress.


Paynters have grown apples for about 150 years, so we know what we’re doing.

We use Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) techniques that use predator insects, pheromones and monitoring of pest populations. It’s all about meddling so you can avoid spraying and generally it works pretty well. The only serious problem we battle is the blackspot disease (a.k.a. apple scab or Venturia inaequalis).

Thankfully a few spotty apples don’t worry the cider drinker so we cut a few corners on this as well.


Paynter’s is the ‘anti-hipster’ of ciders and we wanted labels that reflected our traditional roots. We scoured thousands of old illuminations and paintings in a search for these power images:

The Alchemist

is the ancient Persian prophet Zoroaster or Zarathustra, who taught a spiritual philosophy of self-realisation and realisation of the Divine. Here is in fine alchemaic form, riding a dragon and holding a three-headed bloom. It is Christian-themed depiction from the Clavis Artis, a 16th century German manuscript on alchemy. The triple-headed rose could be symbolizing the Trinity, as easily as it could be referring to the ‘three primes’ of alchemy.

The Huntress

was painted in the late 1300s and is actually of the Archangel Michael. Archangels were typically represented in the androgynous to feminine form. The position on the body of the dragon symbolizes the victory of good over evil, which is further emphasized by the immobilized wing of the dragon. The artist is the mysteriously named Master of Saint Verdiana, an Italian painter active somewhere between 1380 and 1420.

The Pilgrim

is taken from an illumination in the medieval manuscript: William Digulleville, The Pilgrimage of Human Life. A similar pilgrim figure can be seen in many works; the duality of the physical and spiritual journey being a great thematic tool. Here the pilgrim is taken totally out of context and is seen distracted by a suspicious crow.

Qyte Plummy

comes from a version of a book called the ‘Tacuinum Sanitatis: Medieval Horticulture and Health’ first commissioned by the Italian nobility during the last decades of the 14th century. It was a guide to healthy living and includes vivid scenes of the harvest of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and culinary and medicinal herbs.

The Pict

is taken from a hand-coloured version of Theodor de Bry’s 1588 engraving of a Pict woman “The True Picture of a Women Picte”. These Celtic people from the North and East of Scotland painted or tattooed themselves. The Romans called them Picts, mostly likely from the Latin ‘Pictus’ meaning painted.

Other incidental illuminations that have found their way on to the labels are mostly random marginalia – small doodles or illuminations that were made, presumably by scribes who found themselves with a bit of spare time on their hands.


Freight to anywhere in NZ that Toll will deliver is $7.95 (+ $5.00 for rural) per case.
Min order 1 case (12 or 24 bottles).
Cash sales available in Hawke’s Bay, Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.30pm. Go to reception at Johnny Appleseed, 548 St Georges Rd Sth, RD2 Hastings, 4172.

case of 24


The Alchemist - Med/Dry


case of 12


The Huntress - Med


case of 24


The Huntress - Med


case of 24


Qyte Plummy – Cider with Plum


case of 24


The Pict Pear - Med


case of 12


Paynter's Cider - Med / Dry


case of 24


The Pilgrim - Dry


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021 242 8264 /