An old family estate, the Isastegi farms originally supported livestock, but in 1983, the family switched from cattle to apple trees, so that they might extend the reach of their cider to the public.
Initially, Isastegi cider was made in home for family and friends, but as word spread, along with demand, the family expanded. Recent renovations, including the addition of pressing and bottling rooms and space added for kupelas (large old oak cider barrels), has allowed for an increase in production. And though they grow their own fruit, Martin and Miguel Mari supplement their own stock with local apples from Tolosa.
Pale gold in color and complex with a light spritz, Isastegi is a cider is for wine lovers. Unlike ciders from elsewhere in the world, this one is high in acidity, lacking in residual sweet, and funky. Fermented with indigenous yeast, it drinks like a lambic, austere and refreshing with sour apple notes. It’s most certainly a brilliant homage to apple fruit.
How to drink it like the locals: serve cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only one sip’s worth should be poured into the glass at a time.