Basque Country enjoyed a few good years with regards to industry and commerce during XVI - XVII centuries. This golden age, in which cider was an every day beberage and there was a great consumption, would not have been posible without cider.
We owe great part of our culture to cider, that must be said. Apart from being an every day beberage for the population, it was the beberage of our sailors and fishermen, who used to go after cod and whale all over the North Atlantic. The contracts clearly stated: for each sailor two or three apple cider litres a day. Thanks to cider, our sailors did not suffer the horrible illness scurvy, which made our sailors famous. This made it possible the exporting of the so acclaimed basque iron and other materials.
The first Basque farms are built just to quench that enormous neccesity of cider. They were huge companies to produce cider. In the golden age of Basque farms (XVIth century), their building was started with the "tolare", cellar in Basque. From that on, the rest of the facilities were built. That's why they are knwon as "tolare-baserriak" (cellar farms in Basque).
A fine example of this kind of farm could be found in the farm-museum "Igartubeiti" of Ezkio – Itsaso. It is a very significant cellar, since it is the only one that exits nowadays with such characteristics.