Currently run by Luis Acebal, the Acebal family has produced cider in the same building outside of Gijón, Asturias for four generations, dating back to the late 1800's. Luis runs the llagar (bodega) in the same fashion his great grandfather did four generations ago. Asturias is cider country and much better known for ciders and cheese than wine.
El Carrascu is the lagar's DOP bottling, which by law contains only Asturian heirloom apple varieties. The DOP was established around 2010, and about 1/3 of lagares in Asturias now also make a DOP bottling.
El Carrascu's apples are produced organically (non-certified), grown by many tiny, often backyard, supplemental-income growers, as is the tradition in the region.
Sidra Acebal is produced—as all flagship bottlings of Asturian cider are, due to apples having a large crop fluctuations—from apples from Asturias, Galicia, Germany, and occasionally France.
Asturian ciders are acid driven ciders (based on acid and semi acid apples, rather than tannic and sweet apples as in other countries), and pair wonderfully with food: anything from Asian cuisine to funky cheeses.
Soils/Climate: Asturias is a cold and rainy, but stunningly beautiful place. Green rolling hills turning
into dramatic snow capped mountains as one travels south, though apple production is located near the coast.
Apple production: Some of the apples for the Sidra Acebal are produced conventionally. El Carrascu's apples are produced organically (non-certified), grown by many tiny, often backyard, supplemental-income growers, as is the tradition in the region.
Cidermaking: About as “natural” as it gets: apples are crushed, pressed, fermented, aged and bottled, that's it. Luis primarily uses the traditional Asturian wooden box press for pressing, which takes three days per lot, but produces a much cleaner must than a modern bladder press. For the Sidra Acebal only, if all of his box presses are in use, Luis will use a bladder press.