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Basque people are proud, passionate and exceptionally warm-hearted. Fiercely independent, they are also renowned for their easygoing attitude, creative flair and discerning taste. Just like their cider in fact.
Straddling the Pyrenees Mountains from Northern Spain to Southern France, the Basque region is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited areas in Europe. It certainly boasts the oldest language in Europe, Euskara, which is still spoken by a large percentage of Basque people. The largest city is Bilbao, a cultural centre and bustling port. Other notable towns include the beautiful horseshoe bay of San Sebastian, and Pamplona, world famous for its annual running of the bulls.
Cidermaking has long been a favourite pursuit in Basque country. The earliest written records date back to the 11th century, when the region was even known as ‘the land of the apple’. Historically, all Basque farmhouses had an apple orchard attached. Gathering the apples was a communal activity, so that locals who did not own a press themselves would not miss out on their share of cider. And just to make sure, the boards employed in the cider press were then used as a percussion instrument to summon the neighbours and celebrate another successful brew.