While not natural in the same way as our other producers, we wanted to work with Guzman Riestra because of their traditional style and history. Their first cider was produced in 1906 and the recipe hasn’t changed despite 110 years of production. In the early 1900s Don Robustiano Riestra built a cider press from a eucalyptus tree he cut down himself. He then moved it to his house in Santa Olaya de Baldornón (Gijón) where he began making some cider for his family.
Don Robustiano used the name RIESTRA for his cider and some years later passed down the recipe to his daughter, Etelvina Riestra who moved to the neighbouring municipality of Sariego when she got married to Ricardo Riestra Hortal.
In 1947 a new cider cellar was built which meant both a major modernization and also a considerable increase of production. In 1985 Guzmán Riestra Riestra took over management of the company and the passed it down to his sons Raúl and Ruben Riestra, who are currently continuing the work started by their great grandfather. The company remains family-owned today.
2012 marks another stepping stone for the company. The release of their first sparkling cider, Sidra Guzmán Riestra. This is a sparkling cider produced through the Champagne method, with a second fermentation and aging in the bottle.
Their orchards are situated on gently sloping limestone soils in “La comarca de la sidra” (“Cider shire”) which has a particularly cold climate due to its altitude (300 to 800 meters) and frequent northeast winds. These are the ideal cold weather conditions for fermentation. The cider house is still located in Sariego.
Their cider starts with the apple harvest in October and November. Apples are hand picked and machine washed. Then they are hand sorted before going into the grinder. They are pressed in a traditional Austurian press over 3 days. In order to get the juice out, it is necessary to make what is known as "corte del llagar". This operation is a sort of ditch which is dug around the surface of the magaya (apple pulp) which has previously been pressed. It is pumped over the rest of the magaya in order to be pressed again. This process is performed five times a day on each press, and is essential because each time you tighten the press, the magaya is so compact that you cannot extract any more juice.
After the juice is cooled it is pumped into neutral barrels where it remains for several months to ferment and rest on its’ lees. The cider is taken from barrel during the waning moon of January, February and march. This is to remove it from its’ lees, to add some oxygen and to blend.
The flat ciders are then bottled to order and shipped out. These ciders are always aggressively shaken before they are shipped to unsettle the sediment. The Sparkling ciders are filled with this juice, yeast and sugar and undergoes a second fermentation in bottle. The sugar is transformed into CO2 while the bottles are top with a crown cap. These ciders are aged for a minimum of 8 months and then disgorged to remove sediment in the bottle. They are then corked, stored for another month and are ready to drink.
Riestra Natural Cider (flat cider) – 6.5%
Typical Austurian Cider. Deep yellow, cloudy with a fresh, clean apple skin note. This cider is bone dry and funky. Shake up the sediment before enjoying.
Guzman Riestra Brut Nature Sparkling Cider – 8%
Made from the Champagne method using the natural cider as a base. This cider has a powerful mousse and is highly aromatic. Dry.
Guzman Riestra Semi Secca Sparkling Cider – 8%
Made the same way as the Brut, but with some added sugar right before it is corked.
- Kenaston Wine Market
- The Winehouse
- Banville and Jones Wine Co
- G.J. Andrews Food and Wine Shoppe
- Ellement Wine and Spirits