Sagardo naturala, or natural cider, has been produced in the Basque Country for over 2,000 years. According to Spanish law natural cider is produced using traditional methods without the addition of sugars or carbonic acid. The resulting cider is something unique to the Basque Country: it is still (with only mild residual carbonic acid) more bitter than most ciders and has an alcohol content that is typically between five and six percent by volume. The traditional production method starts with the apple harvest in the fall when apples of various native varieties are sorted, ground and pressed. The resulting juice is transferred into kupelas (large, oak barrels) and allowed to ferment until the spring, when it is bottled unfiltered.
Sagardo should be served cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only a small amount (one sip's worth) should be poured into the glass at a time.
Tasting Notes: The cider has a golden-green hue in the glass. Ripe notes of apple on the nose leads to an acidic, malted apple on the palate. The finish is crisp and fresh.
Apples: A blend of over a dozen native varietals.
Vinification: After fermentation in kupelas (old, large, oak cider barrels) the cider is bottled fresh and without filtration before each shipment.