Cider maker, juice maker, vinegar maker, preserves maker and distiller.
SUTTON’S JUICE FACTORY & CIDERY
Location: Thulimbah, near Stanthorpe, Granite Belt Wine Country, Queensland
photo credit: Louise Wright
Meet David Sutton…
David and his business partner and wife Ros Sutton are the founders and operators of the iconic Granite Belt tourist spot – Sutton’s. It’s here visitors can visit the shed cafe at Sutton’s apple orchard and favourite on the menu is their famed apple pies! David processes many apple and other fruit products grown on the Granite Belt and Queensland, but the fruit he works with most are Granite Belt apples!
What made you decide to make ciders, juices and your other products?
“We needed to add value to the waste apples rather than sending them to a juice factory.”
What did your introduction to winemaking look like?
“It was a matter of trial and error until we were happy with our production methods and the quality of the products.”
Did you have a career before?
“I started my working life running the family farm running cattle and sheep and then grew wheat and other grain crops. After selling the farm we owned a prawn trawler for 16 years and worked it out of Lucinda in North Qld for 14 years. From this we changed direction and purchased a working orchard on the Granite Belt.”
What does your day-to-day actually look like?
“Seven days a week, 12 hours a day we are processing something for our range of products and managing the orchard.”
Do you have a favourite product, or one you are most excited about?
“All of our apple products, as they reflect just what can be done with one of Australia’s favourite fresh fruits. Apple juice, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, apple brandy, apple syrup and the range of preserves made using apples.”
Do you have a favourite tool in your trade, that you just couldn’t live/work without?
“The processing room where there are lots of interesting ‘toys’ which enable us to produce our range of products”
What do you wish everyone knew about your products?
“It is wonderful to produce a range of products from the humble apple.”
When you’re not winemaking, what do you like to do out and about on the Granite Belt?
“We really enjoy our local restaurants, wineries and attractions.”
Where you’ll find David…
When you drop in to Sutton’s Shed Cafe you’ll generally see David Sutton or his wife and business partner Ros Sutton working in all areas of the business. Stop and say hello and they are always willing to stop and share what’s happening in the orchard or in the processing room today.