The Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa presents the 2020 cider harvest at the Miramar Palace
70 different ciders of the 2020 harvest from 48 cider producers have been presented, all made 100% with native apples and of certified quality.
- The sector has made the assessment of the cider season and has explained the summer season.
- The sector is optimistic for the summer: people are wanting to return to normality, for this reason it will promote the consumption of cider in the hotel industry, on the terraces, outdoors and at home.
- HikNik summer campaign, campaign to promote the consumption of cider outdoors: HikNik.
The Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin today presented the 2020 vintage cider at the Miramar Palace in Donostia. A total of 70 products made by 48 cider producers from the Basque Country have been presented.
Together with the coordinator of the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin Unai Agirre, those responsible for the public administrations that promote the Denomination of Origin were present: Bittor Oroz, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policies of the Basque Government and Xabier Arruti, Director of the Rural Development Department of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa; Arantza Atutxa Director of Agriculture of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia; Oihana Gaincerain, producer from Gipuzkoa and president of the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin; Jose Antonio Zamalloa and Juanjo Peciña, producers from Bizkaia and Araba and members of the Board of Directors of the Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa; Felix San Sebastian apple producer and member of the Board of Directors of the Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa and Olatz Mitxelena member of the Board of Directors of the Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa and coordinator of Sagardoa Route. The representatives of the Gipuzkoa Restaurant Association, distribution channels and apple and cider producers were also present.
A total of 70 products from the 48 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 identity. The 2020 harvest has not been abundant in quantity, and in total 1.2 million liters have been produced for the Denomination of Origin with 2 million kg of apple. One third of the previous harvest. They are generally ciders of great character, with structure and long in the mouth. 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, aging, with a touch of wood ... This latest vintage is giving us the opportunity to be able to market this type of proposal.
The promoters of the Denomination 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 the public administrations and the apple and cider sectors are projecting together. The last few months have been really tough for the cider sector, with the closure of Hospitality and cuts in the cider houses. As a consequence, it has not been possible to sell all the cider produced; and at this time the cider houses are hoping for the summer months, waiting for better months for the sale of the product and a boom in its consumption in the hotel industry in the area.
HikNik, the summer campaign
The Denomination of Origin has created the HikNik campaign for this summer. With this campaign, consumers are invited to enjoy cider and local products in the open air. Recipes with Eusko Label products will be distributed at events, supermarkets and bars. In these recipes all the secrets of the grill will be published: how to make the fire, how to use the ingredients, how to make the supplements ... Euskal Sagardoa with friends, the ideal plan to enjoy cider outdoors.
The Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin was created in 2016, and since then it has made a great journey, both in the apple orchards and in the quality of the product and its subsequent commercialization. In the first years, a great effort was made to position the product in large distribution, and now, we are working on its positioning in the HORECA channel. In this way, the years 2020 and 2021 were planned, but as a consequence of Covid19, some actions had to be modified.
The cider sector is adapting and working the Denomination of Origin from the apple orchard, the basis of the quality of the product. In this long journey, he has focused first on being able to achieve a balance between crops and apple quality: thinning systems, interpollination and land work are the three main axes.
At the end of the presentation, the guests were able to taste the 2020 vintage, led by Mikel Garaizabal.
A different cider season
This year's cider house season has not been usual, due to the restrictions set by the Covid19 measures. The cider houses have had limited capacity, they have been able to offer only meals and the cider has been consumed at the table in transparent jars or bottles. The cider sector has had a specific and appropriate protocol for each moment and evolution of the pandemic. Although the season has been difficult, the customer has responded with gratitude to the effort made to be able to taste the new cider. As every year, at the end of the season, some cider houses close their doors until the following season, but each year more cider houses are added to offer their services during the summer season. Therefore, the summer season the Euskal Sagardoa Cider will have a presence in the bottle. Visits to cider houses in summer are increasing and more and more wineries are participating in this offer.
The summer season and its characteristics
Guided visits, tastings, food in cider houses ... The cider sector is working in detail on this diversification of the offer. The professionalism and value of the local are the basis of this offer, while the new online cider reservation and sale systems have facilitated another type of service to the consumer. The sector agency, Euskal Sagardoa Route, provides these tools to the cider sector and the Euskal Sagardoa Denomination of Origin.
Great economic losses
Like many other sectors, the cider sector has had great losses since March 2020. With the drop in sales in the hotel trade and visits to cider houses, the sector's losses amount to 20 million euros to date. But, as a consequence, it has been possible to see an increase in sales in stores, direct sales and online sales. Those who have visited the cider houses this season have also been able to enjoy the new cider, served at the table. This interest in the product has given the sector hope to continue working for quality, local produce, two concepts necessary to ensure a prosperous future for cider.
Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa
The Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa is a project of the present and future, promoted by the apple and cider sector of Euskadi and their corresponding administrations. Its main objective is to offer the apple and cider sector a solid base; and to 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 Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa has 115 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, starting with the apple orchard and ending with the bottle. The Denomination of Origin Euskal Sagardoa has to pass the corresponding physical-chemical and organoleptic analyzes and controlled by the Hazi Fundazioa Foundation.
Catalog of Euskal Sagardoa, cider houses that make up the catalog
- Araba: Iturrieta / Kuartango.
- Bizkaia: Axpe / Etxebarria / Laneko / Uxarte.
- Gipuzkoa: Aburuza / Akarregi / Alorrenea / Altzueta / Añota / Araeta / Astarbe / Barkaiztegi / Begiristain / Bereziartua / Calogne / Egi-Luze / Eguzkitza / Ekain / Etxeberria / Eula / Gartota / Gaztañaga / Iparragutzetategi / Gipuzkoa / Gipuzkoa Irrigation / Gipuzkoa Itxasburu / Izeta / Larrarte / Lizeaga / Oiharte / Ola / Olagi / Otatza / Petritegi / Sagarzikle / Saizar / Sarasola / Satxota / Tximista / Txindurr-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 catalog, which includes the characteristics of each cider house, its history and its ciders.
This catalog can be found at euskalsagardoa.eus/katalogoa.
History of cider and its evolution
Cider has been the drink of the Basque Country for many years. Ancient writings and references indicate that this millenary drink has been the food of the Basques for centuries. In the XV-XVI centuries, the consumption of cider had a great boom, since the Basque Country was a large industrial zone and the number of people who inhabited it consumed cider. In this consumption, the wineries, large cider production industries, have their origin. 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 under way in Ezkio, the Igartubeiti lagar farmhouse.