Zerain, Basque Region, Spain
Located in the town of Goierri in Zerain, in Gipuzkoa-Euskadi (Basque Country), the Eguran family maintain this lovely estate where they farm organic apples for their traditional, bone-dry, Basque Cider. The family had been serving their cider to guests at their agriturisomo since 2006 and in 2011, they converted their hobby into a business. Haritz Eguren, the family cider master, uses three local varieties, Errezila, Urtebi Txikia, and Txalaka, which are harvested, crushed, fermented and bottled with minimal intervention. 100% organic apples made with minimal intervention.
Oiharte Basque Sidra Natural (2015) NV
The Oiharte Sidra Natural is a blend of only three types of apples, though dozens of varieties are allowed in the region. This gives a purity and focus to the Oiharte that is not always easy to find. Errezila, the most popular Basque apple for cider production, is utilized for its sharpness and its sweetness, while Urtebi (very tart) and Txalaka (sour and sweet) apples give depth of flavor and complexity. All the apples are gathered by hand, brought into the production room, washed, sorted (rotten apples are discarded), and crushed for juicing. Fermentation in stainless steel takes place for anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks, and bottling (sans filtration) begins in January. The juice is dry, funky, fresh, and distinctly Basque in character