SIDRA FANJUL – Siero, Asturias

THE CELTIC PEOPLE REGARDED THE APPLE TREE AS THE TREE OF LOVE AND THE APPLE ITSELF AS THE FRUIT OF LUCK. YOU MIGHT SAY THAT CIDER IS THE BLOOD OF ASTURIAS.     - Carlos Ballesteros, Owner

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For nearly a century Sidra Fanjul has been producing natural cider in the heart of Asturias, following traditional methods while always taking full advantage of new technology. The family history in making cider, or sidra,  is rooted in the late 19th century when the maternal grandfather of Don José Ramón Fanjúl Palacio established the cidery known as El Roblón.

In 1944 Antón de la Sierra founded the current cider press, or llagar, and orchards and labelled the cider with the family name. He became well known immediately for his tireless activity, constantly moving the business forward. Anton pioneered the export of cider to Cuba in 1940, led protests, together with other cider producers, against arbitrary taxes imposed on Asturian cider and not least of all, helped to found the first Cider Press Association of Asturias.

Anton died young. As he had no descendants his brothers inherited the cider press facility and decided to put it up for auction in the 1970´s. At the auction Anton´s sister, Josefa Fanjul, made the first bid, not fully aware of the possible consequences. The surprise was great when no one else raised their voice to put in a more generous offer.  From this moment on, Josefa, inadvertantly, became the owner of the llagar and installations and immediately handed over the management of the business to her son Jose Antonio.

“Toni” ran the cider press, or llagar, and carried out important renovations as, after years of neglect the facilities had deteriorated greatly. He restored and retained many of the original cider barrels,vats and other artefacts and tools of Anton, most importantly, of course, the brand name. In the old cider factory two wooden cider presses were of particular interest, with an already motorized mechanism that could press 19 tons of apples at a time, making them the largest and most effective of that era.

In the 1980′s Toni´s son, Carlos, took over the management of the llagar and has since, among other things, introduced advanced technology in the production process, increased the variety of products, created the first website in the cider industry and helped to promote the Asturian Cider Association and its activities. Fanjul cider achieved the coveted prize for cider of the highest quality from the Fundacion de la Sidra in 2004, the first time ever to be awarded to a national industry.

You can find our selection from Sidra Fanjul in the Ciders of Spain Portfolio.

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