In Nava - A Taste of Cider, page 1
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Spain Site Map - Asturias - Nava, capital of Cider Shire
locating nava on the map and a view of nava apples

Nava - A Taste of Cider an Asturias Tradition, page 1
Text by: Paula Repo
Photos by: Pasi Rein

The best place to get to know the Spanish cider (sidra) is naturally the Cider Shire, and the best place to start your excursion is the Cider Museum in Nava. Streching out from the eastern coast of Asturias to the inland, the Cider Shire with its 570 square kilometres covers a rolling landscape of apple orchards and sandy coves.

Sidra can have as much alcohol as a strong beer and is only available in 0.75L bottles, almost a pint and three-quarters.
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Nava Cider tasting
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Even it you are not generally a friend of museums, the museum in Nava, capital of the Cider Shire, is a rewarding experience. Guided by inspired professionals, the journey takes you through different aspects of the cider culture in an interactive way. For Asturians the cider is much more than making an alcoholic beverage from apples and consuming it in inns. After the tour, you are well prepared to visit the "llagares", where cider is made, and the "sidrerias", where it is served.

Apple orchards along the beach in Asturias
Photo above - Tazones Beach, red apples with blue sea form a dazzling view typical of the Cider Shire.

The Beauty of Harvest

The Cider Shire is at its prettiest in September and October, when the trees are heavy with bright red and yellow apples. Apple trees cover some 7,000 hectares of the Asturian land, but this is no longer enough to meet the cider consumption. More and more apples are imported from France, Czech Republic and other countries growing cider apples. Although some 80% of the Asturian cider is consumed in Spain, its popularity is growing also abroad.

In late autumn, you can watch people shaking the trees and picking up the fallen apples into sacks. Labouring in the orchards is combined with colourful harvest festivals, the most famous being the Apple Festival, Festival de la Manzana, which takes place every two years in Villaviciosa.


Photo above - Museo Sidra, games are part of the sidreria setting.

The festivities start usually with the offering of the first must, pressed in the main square, to the Virgin of the village. Besides harvest festivals, there are cider related fiestas for all seasons in Asturias.

Depending on the proportion of sweet and bitter apples, the resulting cider is thicker or thinner, more or less coloured, and with less or more alcohol. Cider made of the original Asturian apple varieties, and approved by the Control Board of Protected Designation of Origin has beared since 2001 the DOP label of "Cider of Asturias". All these ciders have minimum 5% of alcohol.

In Nava; A Taste of Cider an Asturias Tradition, page 2 - The Art of Preparing Cider

 

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Working with excellent local contacts, Madrid & Beyond opens up some of the best-kept secrets of Spain for the traveler. Personal guides, private wine tours, walking and bicycling excursions, are just a few of the possibilities.

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This page last updated December 2009