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News | Feb 21 2022

Let’s Chat About Txakoli

The predominantly white Txakoli wines of Northern Spain are making their own niche in the wine world. Let’s take a closer look at this unique wine varietal from the Basque country.

Currently basking in the light of all things Basque-gastronomy, the Txakoli (pronounced chackolee) wines of Northern Spain are making their own niche in the wine world. Let’s take a closer look at this unique wine varietal from the Basque country.

Txakolí wine originates from the hills of Getaria, where Atlantic waves from the Bay of Biscay crash against its rugged coastline in Northwestern Spain. Since the 9th century there has been viticulture in this area, and Txakoli became a household name for the Basque people from around the 12th or 13th century. Produced artisanally using varietals of the local Hondarrabi Zuri grape, the wine was used for bartering at the markets and as a sailor’s wine on the high seas.

Txakolí vine green leaves

By the end of the 19th century, Txakolines - typical Basque taverns - served exclusively Txakoli wine to its patrons, along with fish dishes; think squid, cod, and eel. But this tiny wine growing community was put on hold, due to the Phylloxera vine plague coupled with the industrial revolution, which drew wine growers away to the big towns. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Txakoli production revived and has since gained three of its own protected DO regions: Getariako Txakolina DO, Bizkaiko Txakolina DO and Arabako Txakolina DO.

To describe Txakoli wine as punchy is an understatement. You’ll note minerality in the wine thanks to the always present ocean breeze, with balanced acidity and ever-so-slight effervescence. Seeing as the Basque country is world-famous for its seafood, this remarkably crisp wine from the same terroir is simply put - the best pairing choice.

Txakolí pairing

A staggering 40-plus Michelin starred restaurants in the Basque country alone, testify to Txakoli as the best wine to enjoy with the region’s seafood-based cuisine. Today, the limited production of small Txakoli wineries is in high demand and being exported to all corners of the globe. There has never been a better time to begin one’s exploration of Txakoli wine. 

Txakolí vineyards
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