I have always believed that there is no better way to learn than combining theory and practice. After several years working for the cider industry from the point of view of marketing, communication and internationalization, I have finally decided to deepen in the cider world and make my own homemade craft cider.
Ciderzale is, in addition to a blog about cider and a marketing service, a small laboratory where we experiment with the production of new ciders. Our main characteristics are the recognition of traditions without renouncing to new technologies, as well as a look at global cider from a local point of view (Basque Country).
Cider making is the main objective of this lab. We want to experiment making cider in the most natural way possible, using only fresh apple juice and wild fermentation. In 2018 we have produced about 20 liters of cider, divided into four batches with different blends. Two of these batches have been produced with freshly pressed apple juice from a cider house in Astigarraga, and two others with apples and crabs collected and pressed by us. This experiments will be the base for the next season production.
A significant part of our cider is made with table apples donated by the neighbors of The Valley of Soria. Our goal is to recover these apple trees taking care of the orchards and training their owners. This, together with the planting of new cider apple trees, will allow us to increase our cider production gradually.
For our first experiments we have also collected and pressed some crab apples that have been fermented together with the table apples, and that we hope will provide tannins and astringency to one of the finished cider batches. In addition, we have extracted seeds of the European crab apple malus sylvestris picked up in the forest. We expect to plant some this spring, to increase the production of this variety and preserve its future.
We have our own urban citrus orchard, with varied orange, grapefruit, blood orange, lemon and tangerine trees. Along with the apple juice, we are experimenting with the wild fermentation of these citrus and their blending with apple cider, in order to explore the world of flavored ciders.