Iruin SagardotegiaIruin SagardotegiaHAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST AITA
Juan Ignacio Astiazaran was born 70 years ago in the Irigoien farmhouse in Zubieta. His sons Ion and Mikel have inherited from him the passion for cider since they were children. And it has not been difficult because he has always talked to them about the cider world with a lot of love and enthusiasm.
Juan Ignacio has cider in his genes. His father already produced it for domestic consumption and also sold it to the neighbors in Donostia. Before him, his grandfather did it and that is why Juan Ignacio knows the sector in an admirable way and that is how he has transmitted it to Ion and Mikel.
Almost half a century ago Juan Ignacio and his wife Isabel decided to open Iruin Sagardotegia. In the 90's they were pioneers in introducing the cider menu. A closed menu with fixed price that later the rest of the sagardotegis of Gipuzkoa began to implement. At that time, a cider house menu cost 2,500 pesetas.
The Astiazaran family has about 600 apple trees. They collect the fruit with the kixki and the basket, picking only the apples they find on the ground. They say that they are the ones that are at the optimum ripening point.
They make the cider the old-fashioned way, using six secret and different varieties of apples. The result: a 100% natural and chemical-free cider. Production is modest. They focus on quality rather than quantity and the family ensures that everything is sold. At present, a small part is exported to the United States, Finland and Japan. It could be said that it is a "signature" cider.
Ion and Mikel are now the future of Iruin. The fourth generation Astiazaran. A family tradition with more than 120 years of history. And although Juan Ignacio retired a few years ago and has passed the baton to his sons, he is still the alma mater of the sagardotegi: referent, mentor and as Ion and Mikel say, a great person.
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