Larrarte cider-house makes natural cider from his own apple trees. The bottles are selling in the cider house all year round.
The cider is sold in boxes of 3 bottles (ideal for gifts) and 12 bottles. And sales in establishments and in our own cider house.
Although not entirely sure, some theories claim that it was the Celts who spread the cider throughout Europe. This drink has always been a product of great tradition in the countries of the Atlantic coast, especially in France, Britain, Belgium, Ireland and Germany.
They were the Celts who introduced the cider in the Iberian Peninsula, being Asturias and the Basque Country where most cider is produced today.
Its production had keeping traditionally in the farms of the Basque Country because for centuries has been passed on orally from father to son through customs, tales and proverbs.
Jose Uria Irastorza, author of the book "Sagardoa ', says that in some inscriptions in the Basque Country before s.VII appear names that have in its roots the basque word sagar (= apple).
The oldest quote found about the apple trees in the Basque Country dated from April 17 in 1014, and is the certificate issued by the king basque Antso Andia (= Sancho the Great) of Navarra by granting a donation to the Leire´s Monastery, which translated from the euskera (basque language) says:
"We and offer in terms of Hernani, the sea, a monastery that is said of St. Sebastian with the land, apple trees, fishing sea ...". This letter shows that in those days was grown apples to produce cider in the area.
One of the routes jacobeas followed by pilgrims coming from France and crossed Roncesvalles. The pilgrim Aymeric Picaud wrote 'Guide Peregrine' by the year 1134 where he speaks about the unintelligible basque language, saying that the entire country is covered by closed forests and high mountains where there are not bread or wine or other food except apples, milk and cider.
In the Middle Age, cider has gone through a series of regulations and ordinances governing everything about it, reflecting their cultural significance. One of these laws went so far as to condemning to death the one who broke a kupela (= barrel) with bad intentions.
At the beginning of the XX century new crops were introduced, and the cider was produced in the farms for their own consumption, but with improved communications between peoples by building new roads, the natural cider was marketed and then increased its consumption.
At present the practice of txotx (consisting of drinking natural cider -made from the new year´s crop- directly from the kupela itself (cider barrel) located in the cellar where they produce the cider) within the period from January to May, is largely rooted in our people.
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In the cider house “Larrarte” we work very hard every day to make natural cider of the best quality. We have implanted a system of traceability (HACCP) to control the entire process elaboration of cider from apple trees to the final bottled.
The apple: usually we start to collect the apples in mid-September and finish in early November. Each variety has its own time of ripening, therefore it is not collected all the apples at the same time. Another key factor is the weather, which is the cause that apples ripen sooner or later. Washing: in the cider house “Larrarte” we realize how important it´s cleaning, not just apples but also the entire process. First we drag the apples with water, these apples are gradually cleaned and passed through a grating that separates the dirty water from the apples. Then put the apples through a kind of tunnel to wash the apples with a lot of water jets under pressure. Selection: when apples are rinsed, will lead them to a pick conveyor belt. Here what we are going to do is to remove all the apples that are not in good conditions. The entire selection is done manually. Crush: after the selection, apples go through the crushing to break in pieces. We´ll adjust the machine at our convenience, when more mature is the apple its pieces are bigger and when less mature is the apple its pieces are smaller. It is very important that the seeds of the apples don´t break, its have to leave intacts the crushed so we´ll can avoid later tastes unwanted. Press: after cut up into pieces the apples, we´ll put it into the press to get the apple juice. Pressing begins at low pressure to avoid breaking the seeds. Once released the apple juice will do the tests of acidity, pH, sugar and tannin. Decanting: the role of decanting is to separate, in a natural way, the solids from the apple juice. We´ll decanting between 10-12°C, in this way the fermentation process will delay and thus solids will fall gradually at the bottom by its own weight. The time of sedimentation is between 16-24 houres. Then switch the juice clean to another barrel (transfer) for fermentation. Fermentation: the fermentation process is the transformation of apple juice´s sugar into alcohol. It's very important the fermentation temperature, when coldest be the juice, slower will be the fermentation and will lose less carbon dioxide of paramount importante to get a high quality cider.
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After finishing the fermentation, the cider is ready for consumption in both: txotx as in the bottle. It is recommended pour it with a temperature between 10 - 13ºC and provide just what you want to drink in the moment, so as to volatilize its precursors aromatics.