XI Century

 

XI century

Siglo XI

The oldest quote found regarding Basque apple orchards dates back to 1,024: "We give and offer, in the district of Hernani, next to the seaside, there is a Monastery called San Sebastián...with the lands, apple orchards, sea fishing, etc."

From this moment on, there are innumerable quotes mentioning apple orchards and later on cider factories or presses. There is written evidence of many farmhouses producing cider as an alternative to wine, since the latter was too expensive for them.

The jurisdictions have defended the apple tree, the apple orchard and the cider trade for centuries. There are many quotes on this subject, such as the protection of the apple tree from animals and people who could harm it, the protectionist control of the apple and cider, considering them as a collective resource in all Basque municipalities, for the trading of this product not to fall into the hands of speculators. For many centuries the buying and selling of the apple and cider was carried out in very limited circles, and cider must have been produced only for its consumption in the farmhouses. However, when the population started to come together in towns, cider became a negotiable product. The protection of this product in the Guizpuzcoan jurisdiction is worthy a mention: "The introduction of foreign cider is also prohibited, unless the entire province's cider has been consumed". There is abundant documentation on cider and apple levies and taxes, and innumerable agreements taken at the Town Halls at this time or by the corresponding Councils appear with regards to the laws dictated in the Basque Jurisdictions.