In Belmont, the birthplace of the town of Usurbil in the heart of the Basque Country, the Saizar family maintains the tradition of making this broth.
It is a cider brandy with an alcoholic content of 40%. We leave it to rest in oak barrels until it acquires its particular color and its characteristic fruity bouquet.
Upon the arrival at the cider house, the imposing façade made of steel with the surrounding apple orchards offers us the first overview of the philosophy of this cider house: tradition linked to the future. Half a century has passed since Esteban Lertxundi made the professional leap in the farm of his wife, Olivia Ibarguren. The next two generations are the ones that carry the rhythm of the house today. Napoleon, Esteban and Ramón together with their wives, sons and daughters and a great work team make the Saizar group work every day. Since 2000 they have expanded apple production and subsequent cider production. The year 2004 was a turning point when it came to significantly increasing the production of quality and local apple. Since that time it does not stop. The commitment to the home and native apple has been clear, and has been increasing progressively. The latest strategic incorporation has been the tourist activity, thus diversifying the cider activity and offering guided tours in the cider cellar, accommodation, among other proposals.
- It is recommended to keep the natural cider in a cool place, at about 14-15ºC. At temperatures that are too high or too low, the cider can lose its properties sooner.
- To consume the Basque natural cider, it is recommended to cool it in the refrigerator and take it out 5 minutes before consumption. The ideal temperature to taste it is between 10-13ºC.
- We open the bottle and to serve the cider, we can use the pourer cork that some bottles have or attach a traditional pourer to it.
- We serve the cider at about 15 cm. from the glass, and a little less than the wine glass. We can consume the cider both in a fine and long glass or in a wine glass. The first choice will help us to enjoy a quicker drink, since by pouring it we will have the natural carbon from the cider. In the second one, we will better appreciate the aromas of the product and by serving it at a shorter distance, we will be able to enjoy a more leisurely drink.