SIDRA FANJUL • Tiñana, Astúrias

Carlos Ballesteros (with James Asbel)

In 2018 Carlos pressed the first production level harvest from his new orchard just over the mountains in León where drier climes and harsher winters favor the more tannic apple varieties he will use to complement the great acidic varieties picked in Asturias and Galicia to make Fanjul Sidra Natural.

For nearly a century Sidra Fanjul has been producing natural cider in the heart of Astúrias, following traditional methods and always taking advantage of new technology. The family history of making cider is rooted in the 19th Century when Don José Ramón Fanjul Palacio established the cidery known as El Roblón. In 1944 Antón de la Sierra founded the current press, or llagar, and orchards and labeled the cider with the family name. Antón pioneered the export of sidra to Cuba in 1940, led protests against arbitrary taxes, and helped to found the first association of llagares of Astúrias.

Antón died young. His brothers, who inherited the llagar, put it up for auction. His sister, Josefa Fanjul, not in line for the inheritance, made the first bid. To her great surprise, no one else dared to put in a higher offer, so she became the owner and immediately entrusted management to her son, José Antonio. In the 1980’s Toni’s son, Carlos, took over and has since introduced advanced technology in the production process, created the first website in the Spanish cider industry, and helped the Asturian Cider Association in its activities.

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