Meet the experts

Max Allen is an award-winning wine columnist, author and backyard cider-maker. He was chief judge of the Australian Cider Awards in 2011, and is about to start small-scale commercial cider production.

Mike Bennie is a wine and drinks writer and journalist whose work appears in such publications as Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine and leading wine review website He is an active wine show judge and tastes ciders on industry panels.

Chris Foster has been working in the wine industry for more than 20 years. He oversees the independent group of Annandale Cellars, Cremorne Cellars and Northbridge Cellars, one of the major sponsors of the Australian Cider Awards 2011.

James Kendell began his 18-year career in the beverage and hospitality industry by cutting his teeth on cider and cider-making while living in the UK. He is the owner and founder of Small Acres Cyder, an award-winning cidery situated in the applegrowing region of Orange, NSW.