Basque cider PDO new harvest presentation
The Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin presents the new 2021 vintage cider at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
- 75 different ciders from the 2021 harvest have been presented from 49 cider producers, made 100% with native apples and of certified quality.
- "They are balanced, aromatic ciders with slightly less alcohol content than 2020."
- One of the objectives of the Regulatory Council is to strengthen the presence of Euskal Sagardoa in the hospitality industry in the Basque Country, as well as to continue working on its presence on the shelves and other sales channels.
- Tonight the pairing dinner will be held in the atrium of the Guggenheim Bilbao, and attendees will be able to enjoy the different Euskal Sagardoa Cosecha 2021 ciders and the dishes made by Nerua, based on local produce.
Today, the Euskal Sagardoa Designation of Origin presented the 2021 vintage cider at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. A total of 75 products made by 49 cider producers in the Basque Country have been presented.
Along with the coordinator of the Euskal Sagardoa UnaiAgirre Denomination of Origin, those responsible for the public administrations that promote the Denomination of Origin were present, among others: Bittor Oroz (Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policies of the Basque Government), Amaia Antxustegi ( Provincial Deputy for Sustainability and the Natural Environment), Xabier Arruti (Director of the Department of Rural Development of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa), Héctor Sanchez (Manager of the Bizkaia Hospitality Association), Oihana Gaincerain (President of the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin ); Jose Antonio Zamalloa, Ibon Aburuza and Juan Antonio Aretxaga, Presidents of the Cider House Associations of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba and members of the Board of Directors of the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin; Felix San Sebastian apple producer and member of the Board of Directors of the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin and Amaia Zubeldia coordinator of Sagardoa Route.
A total of 75 products from the 49 producers from Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia and Araba that make up the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin have been presented, made with apples from 250 producers, all of them different and with their own identity. The 2021 harvest has been large in quantity and good in quality and in total 3.5 million liters have been produced for the Designation of Origin with 6 million kg of apples. They are balanced and aromatic ciders with a lower alcohol content than 2020.
Each cider house and each cider has its characteristics. In this line, we are seeing changes and very special and innovative products within the cider sector: ciders from a single apple orchard, made with a single variety, Crianzas, with a touch of wood... This latest abundant and quality harvest is giving us the opportunity to elaborate and be able to commercialize this type of interesting proposals.
The promoters of the Designation of Origin have stressed that this is the result of many years of work and, above all, a clear commitment to the future of cider. A future that both public administrations and the apple and cider sectors are projecting in close collaboration.
Dinner at the Guggenheim
Tonight, the different ciders will be presented and tasted at the pairing dinner to be held in the Atrium of the Guggenheim Museum. The different ciders with the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin will be harmonized with the dishes made by Nerua, based on local produce. Distributors and representatives from the world of hospitality and retail will participate in the dinner, as well as the different administrations and members of the cider sector, among others.
The Euskal Sagardoa Designation of Origin was created in 2016, and since then it has come a long way, both in apple orchards and in the quality of the product and its subsequent marketing. In the early years a great effort was made to position the product in large distribution, and now its positioning in the HORECA channel is being worked on.
The cider sector is adapting and working on the Denomination of Origin from the apple orchard, the basis of product quality. In this long journey, he has focused first on being able to achieve a balance between harvests and the quality of the apple: thinning systems, interpollination and work on the land are the three main axes.
Special season for cider houses
With the motto “Cider House Season because we deserve it”, the 2022 cider house season was launched. And it is that, after the difficult two previous years, in which great efforts have been made to maintain and be able to continue offering the product, both customers and cider makers have been grateful for the return to normality. The 2022 season has also been exceptional, since txotx could not be done until mid-February. The season began with a tasting of the new cider in transparent bottles and jugs, and from mid-February, it has been possible to stand up and taste the txotx cider.
Compared to 2021, the cider houses have had more job opportunities and have increased their reserves by an average of 25% compared to last year. On outings, tastings and guided tours, the data for last year has already been exceeded. The number of requests that guided tastings have had at this time stands out. Regarding customer habits, the change in trend stands out, with an increase in midday services and a decrease in night services.
With these data, the sector positively values the 2022 season and for the coming years the offer will also be adapted so that customers can taste the future Euskal Sagardoa al txotx.
Summer experiences in hotels and cider houses
Sidra Route - Basque Cider Route, develops and promotes the offer of cider and cider house. Sagardoa Route organizes guided tastings of Euskal Sagardoa, visits to cider houses, sports and cultural activities and has a full agenda for the summer. Since this year Sagardoa Route has been working on the incorporation of hotel bars and restaurants to this offer, always hand in hand with the Euskal Sagardoa appellation of origin. The objective is to create activities in establishments that want to bet on Cider from the Basque Country Euskal Sagardoa, in order to spread the culture of Basque cider and offer the public opportunities to enjoy it. All the information and the offer can be seen on the website sagardoa.eus.
Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin
The Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin is a present and future project, promoted by the apple and cider sector of the Basque Country and its corresponding administrations. Its main objective is to offer the apple and cider sector a solid base; and the consumer a local product of certified quality. In this way, the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin has been based on two fundamental pillars: origin and quality.
● Local apple: The Euskal Sagardoa Designation of Origin has 106 approved varieties, of which 24 are the most widely used. These varieties are the main treasure of the cider sector, transmitted and transferred from century to century with the aim of preserving the natural and cultural heritage.
● Quality: Euskal Sagardoa offers us all the guarantee of quality, beginning in the apple orchard and ending in the bottle. The Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin has to pass the corresponding physical-chemical and organoleptic analyzes controlled by the HaziFundazioa Foundation.
Euskal Sagardoa Catalog
Cider houses that make up the catalog:
● Araba: Iturrieta / Kuartango.
● Bizkaia: Axpe / Etxebarria / Laneko / Uxarte.
● Gipuzkoa: Aburuza / Ageri / Akarregi / Alorrenea / Altzueta / Añota / Araeta / Astarbe / Barkaiztegi / Begiristain / Bereziartua / Egi-Luze / Eguzkitza / Ekain / Etxebarria / Eula / Gartziategi / Gaztañaga / Gurutzeta / Iparragirre / Ipintza / Irigoien / Iruheki / Isastegi / Itxasburu / Izeta / Larrarte / Lizeaga / Oianume / Oiharte / Ola / Olagi / Petritegi / Saizar / Sarasola / Satxota / Tximista / Txindurri-Iturri / Urbitarte / Urdaira / Zabala / Zapiain / Zelaia.
The cider sector is a living sector, the full change of processes and new products. Every detail of these products is reflected in this catalogue, which encompasses the characteristics of each cider house, its history and its ciders. This catalog can be found at euskalsagandoa.eus/katalogoa.
History of cider and its evolution
Cider has been the drink of the Basque Country for many years. Ancient writings and references tell us that this ancient drink has been the food of the Basques for centuries.
In the XV-XVI centuries, cider consumption boomed, as the Basque Country was a large industrial area and the number of people who lived there consumed cider. The winery farmhouses, large cider production industries, have their origin in this consumption. According to some documents, there were more than 1,000 in Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Iparralde and Nafarroa. Today, we have an example that is still in operation in Ezkio, the Igartubeiti winery farmhouse.
Among others, cider has been the drink of our sailors on their long voyages to Newfoundland. Due to its habitual consumption and its properties, sailors were not affected as much by scurvy.
Cider had a high rate of consumption after the war, in the 1950s and 1960s, as the farmhouses emptied out. There were some who maintained the tradition and thanks to this, the concept of cider house that is maintained today resurfaced again.
The Euska lSagardoa Denomination of Origin has one objective: as was the case some time ago, that the local apple is once again the axis of cider.
Sagardoa Route – Cider Route of the Basque Country
Is the strategic and tourist agency for the cider sector. It is working in collaboration with the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin to work on the history of cider, its evolution and different activities to enjoy the world of cider. Always taking into account the activities in each station and valuing the work of the first sector. It has three types of activities: vacation activities, company activities and the biggest novelty this year has been the creation of Sagarraren Txokoa, didactic units for schools.