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Celestino Cortina’s speech on the defense of the cider culture in Portak’s Festivities

The cider maker from Villaviciosa and president of the CRDOP “Cider of Asturies” defended the apple, cider and Asturian Cider culture in his speech.

LA SIDRA.- As it could not be otherwise, Celestino Cortina spoke during Portal’s Festivities highlighting the relevance of fighting for a sector that even when it might not be to make a living, it “means an important supplement for the family economy of many Asturians”. He also stated that the future of cider “depends largely on ourselves”.

In a Main Square quite crowded, he explained the work of the Regulatory Council and the need to face the excessive import of foreign apple, remarking the 54 new varieties of apples included for cider elaboration in Asturies. Likeise he remarked that the 30 % of the apple orchards from the Regulatory Council is from Villaviciosa, which he defined as the proper land of apples and “the capital of the quality apple”. de la mazana de calidá”.

During his speech he rode a leflet edited in Villaviciosa in 1911, asserting how things are quie similar to how things were then. It’s “Theoretucal Practical Method for Cider Making” by Celestino Bernardo, and it’s worth to read it:

“By publishing these notes, contributing if I get the little that I know and understand the improvement of the manufacturing, I propose at the same time to give the alert voice and to appeal to all the farmers, cosecheros and industrialists of Asturias so that we take preventive measures in defense of our production and interests, because these are in danger, threatened by a frightening crisis, since being apple production today in Asturias is enormously large, and reducing the consumption of cider for reasons easy to understand, we have as a consequence that in the year of the harvest the prices of quotation are in the unlikely thing by its depreciation. I have seen a lot of apple lost in the orchards, because I did not pay the collection costs and drags to the point that requested it, and to think that our best farms of Asturias are destined for orchards! It is a pain and a shame …

We do not have special rail or boarding rates to be able to send our fruit to other places, as they have in other provinces, benefited for their products, but instead we have a luxury and plethora of deputies to Cortes very clever, very political and not regionalist; we electors do not ask anything and we demand in this sense, contrary to what they do in other provinces. We have imposed the wine taxation, which is so damaging to the cider in the province, and our deputies in quiet courts, the provincial idem of canvas, the town councils and all enduring this baldón as meek lambs; the average wine of bucket in the main populations; the beer, which was once consumed only by the rich man of bad taste, taking possession of our markets and places, putting it by the muzzle in stalls and walking carts to the owner and farmer, to the science and patience of our local authorities, who do not make them withdraw and even if it were possible, to send them off to make the Germans drink it … because among four wine-growers, and so many brewers, they kill our production, and they carry from Asturias many millions of clean and healthy money, which should remain between us . Finally I think it is time to regenerate ourselves in everything, and to defend ourselves, because if we do not do so, it would be as much as to commit ourselves morally and materially. End.

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