Sidra de Asturias is a Protected by Designation of Origin (PDO) product. Cider that is certified PDO bares the Sidra de Asturias label after undergoing quality control to guarantee a quality cider produced with traditional techniques. The area of production of the apples and manufacture of the cider protected by the designation of origin ‘Sidra de Asturias’ PDO is the Autonomous Community of the Principality of Asturias. Asturias is a geographical and historical region of northern Spain.
The products (natural cider and cider) protected by the designation of origin ‘Sidra de Asturias/Sidra d’Asturies’ are manufactured from cider apples of the varieties authorised under the Regulatory Counsil. The products to be protected by the protected designation of origin ‘Sidra de Asturias’ are:
— Cider: a drink obtained from partial or total alcoholic fermentation of fresh apples or apple must. The minimum alcohol content by volume should be 5 %. Cider with a sugar content of less than 30 g/l is dry; between 30 and 50 g/L, the cider is semidry, and sweet cider contains over 50 g/l (up to a maximum of 80 g/l).
— Natural cider: a drink obtained from partial or total alcoholic fermentation of fresh apples or apple must, produced in accordance with traditional practices, without the addition of sugar, containing carbon-dioxide gas of endogenous origin. The minimum alcohol content by volume should be 5 %.
Both products are prepared from varieties of cider apples traditionally cultivated in the area of production. The varieties authorised are classified by their acidity and the concentration of phenolic compounds in eight technological groups: sweet, bitter-sweet, bitter, semi-acid, semi-acid-bitter, bitter-semi-acid, acid and acid-bitter. The inclusion in the designation of the two products (natural cider and cider) results from the quality rules in Spain (Ministerial Order of 1 September 1979) which differentiates between them on the basis that ‘cider’ may be produced with exogenous CO2, either added or from any source.
The two types of cider covered by the designation start from the designation ‘natural cider’. In the case of ‘cider’, CO2, whether recovered from the fermentation process (so solely endogenous) and the addition of a small quantity of sugar syrup. The raw material, the production technology and the industrial equipment are virtually the same, although ‘natural cider’ is much older, with ‘ciders’ with added CO2 appearing with the advances in technology and research achieved in the nineteenth-century. The geographical name ‘Asturias’ is historically linked to the manufacture and consumption of cider in Spain, since it is the region which accounts for largest share of production.