Gurutzeta Sagardotegia has been producing artisanal Basque cider (sagardoa or sidra) since the end of the 19th Century and has stayed in the family since. In 1979, the current owner’s father, Jose Goñi Urreaga, began modernizing the processes while maintaining the traditional nature of their cider. He added new presses along with a new bodega to welcome customers.
When his son, Jose Angel Goñi, continued the process. He added in stainless steel tanks and cooling equipment to better manage fermentation with the goal of producing the best possible product while maintaining their highly traditional product. All of the work the last two generations have put into their sagardotegia have paid off. They’re one of the few elite producers recognized with the Gorenak black cap and seal.
To earn the seal, you have to pass rigorous sensory and chemical analyses using only fresh pressed juice from local cider variety apples. Gorenak has been working to grow the quality of orchards, cider, and the marketing of Basque ciders since 2001.
Appearance: Hazy blond with green tones.
Aroma: Earthy, fruity, fresh citrus, lemon, light chemical note, honey, pineapple.
Taste: Very sharp with lower tannins.
Overall Impression: Gurutzeta is very aromatic with a medium-long finish. The best way I can describe this cider is “fresh.” It’s juicy, fruity, fresh, bright with a bit of funk and is quite wonderful. It also has nice feature of the cheater cork. Some Basque ciders are coming with a cork that’s built to be used to help facilitate the traditional Basque pour. I’d still recommend doing it over the sink, but the new style pour cork certainly will help you control your cider “throw.”
If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area on Wednesday March 23rd, I’ll be hosting, along with the B. United’s Michael Hartman, a hello party to celebrate the arrival of Gurutzeta (and a farewell party for Sarasola) a tBushwhacker’s Woodlawn location. See the poster below for details!
CO2 levels: Still, moused by throwing
Geography: Basque region of Spain
Apples: Unlisted Basque varieties.
Availability: Nationally. Imported by B. United International