D.O.P. Sidra de Asturias
[official D.O.P. website]
Cider has always been an integral part of life in Asturias. Cider and cider products such as cider vinegar and apple juice have driven the economy here since the 18th century. It's a common folk remedy used by traditionalists to treat anything from emotional ills to chest colds to kidney stones. And of course the food, the cuisine of Asturias, has always been cooked with cider in mind: a hearty stew and a glass of cider to warm the soul in this chilly, mountainous maritime zone. It's no wonder that the people of Asturias take such pride in their cider.
Cider today is still produced in the traditional method from nothing but fresh apples. The apples are pressed, the juice is allowed to ferment in temperature controlled tanks (both stainless steel and large, old oak barrels are common), and then the cider is bottled. The resulting cider is still, tart (only as sweet as the apples selected for the press) and crisp, with an alcohol content no higher than 7%. This is the natural cider, or sidra natural, of Asturias.