Artisans of natural cider. Urbitarte is a traditional family owned cider house located in the heart of the Goierri which is surrounded by the Aralar Mountains in the Basque Country. Started in 1991, it has grown considerably since then. They have increased production almost 10-fold over the last 26 years while always using local apples. Every part of the production process is done manually providing a product that is natural, unique and extraordinary.
“Rustic, musty and tart, Spanish cider (or sidra) is one of the great treasures of the cider world. Sidra production began in the late eleventh century when the region’s climate was unfavorable for grape cultivation. Farmers planted apple orchards instead of grapes and began producing their own cider. Over time, two main production regions (Asturias and the Basque region) began to develop strong cider traditions and defined what we now consider Spanish cider.”
- Urbitarte: Ubitarte is fermented naturally from indigenous apple varieties, without any added sugars, sweeteners, or commercial yeasts. The end result is dry, characteristically more still than American ciders, and refreshingly acidic and tart. Unfiltered and unfined, Urbitarte sidra is served traditionally from a standard 750ml bottle. The sediment naturally separates from the cider and needs to be gently shaken before serving. Instead of opening the bottle and letting it “breathe,” Spain has a custom known as “throwing the cider.” A server pours the cider from a height of approximately 3 feet to aerate and enhance the aroma and flavor of the cider! This cider shows fresh acidity with tart and musty flavors. This type of cider is flat, not sparkling and is traditionally served with cod omelette, chorizo con sidra, and freshly carved steaks. Sour beer or lambic drinkers will fall in love with this Basque cider.
- Sagardoa Sidra Natural Eusko: Like the Ubitarte, the Eusko label cider is fermented naturally from 100% native apples without any added sugars, sweeteners, or commercial yeasts. It results in a cider that is dry, characteristically more still than American ciders, and refreshingly acidic and tart. The Eusko Label is a brand managed by the HAZI Foundation, whose graphic sign or symbol is the K for Kalitatea (Quality). Its purpose is to identify and distinguish agri-food products which are produced, processed and/or prepared in the Basque Country and whose quality, specificity or uniqueness is above the general average. The Eusko cider shows fresh acidity with apple tartness and more defined, intense briny flavors.
- Saarte 2014: The Crianza of ciders, Saarte is fermented naturally from indigenous Basque apple varieties, without any added sugars, sweeteners, or commercial yeasts. Saarte spends more time in oak cask than the other ciders in the Urbitarte family. This vintage cider is aged for one year on the lees to add body, complexity, and mouth feel. This cider shows the effects of the additional aging with its rounder acidity, creamier mouth feel, and complex tartness and deeper musty notes. Again, this is a flat cider that should be shaken before serving and that goes great with a wide variety of both traditional and modern dishes. Try it with everything from your cheese plate to a steak fresh off the grill!