Northern Basque Country, France
Gaztañaga sagardoa is made from 100% local apple varieties from the Gipuzkoa province of Spain, just at the western point of the Pyrénées rising out of the Bay of Biscay. Awarded the Best Cider in Gipuzkoa, Gaztañaga is made in the traditional Basque method without additions or alterations.
Most of the native varieties are grown on Gaztañaga’s property, including Errezil, Moko, and Urtebi txiki, but some other local apples are purchased to meet the high customer demand that their humble orchard cannot due to their low intervention farming and older trees. The apples are all hand harvested using a traditional tool called the “Kizki” in late September and early October. The apples are then crushed in the cellar and begin wild fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The only control is cooling temperatures to make sure the fermentation proceeds properly and is adjusted by the cidermaker as they periodically sample the tanks. When dry, the cider is bottled as batches become ready.