Are you a cider freak? Here's a few extra nuggets as well as some runners-up.
CIDER BONUS POINTS
a note on language
Ciderhouse = sidrería in Spanish and sagardotegi in Basque. Cider = sidra in Spanish and sagardoa in Basque. Literally, apple wine, ain't that just so poetic?
Even in season, it's hard to find a cider house to go to on a Sunday or Monday night. For cider houses open on Sunday or Monday night in Basque Country, try Sidrería Alorrenea. Petritegui, the tourist-friendly standby, is also open.
Real Basques only drink cider from December to May. But maybe you're not a real Basque and you might be an American with two measly weeks of vacation. If you visit out of season and just have to have that sagardotegi experience, Petritegui is open all year. Many of the sidrerías in villages are also year-round and function with a restaurant menu as well as the traditional txotx menu, like one of my personal favorites, Urbitarte.
my personal top 3
Urbitarte, Zapiain, and Lizeaga. Oh...and Astarbe and Mina (you see how I did that? ;)
a cider tasting
A blog by me on tasting cider.
Innovation in the Basque cider world has arrived…and it’s bubbly. Astarbe Sagardotegi, one of the oldest cidermaking families in Basque Country, was the first to introduce a cider made using the méthode champenoise. Many have followed. byhur is a revolutionary cider, with a beautiful golden hay color, delicate bubbles, and a fresh, green apple taste.
interview with a cider maker
I sit for an interview with one of the most prestigious cider makers in town, Egoitz Zapiain.
Museo de Sidra
Go beyond the steak and cider binge and get to the root of cider’s spot in Basque culture at the Sagardoetxea, a museum dedicated to the hallowed beverage. The museum is in the center of cider headquarters, in the tiny village of Astigarraga. A visit during harvest season means tasting fresh juice and watching locals reenact various pressing methods, but the museum displays the local cider history and offers tastings year round.