“Txakoli”,the Basque term for 'Chacoli', is a special dry white wine of generally high acidity and low alcohol with a characteristic natural spritz finish produced
from the Hondarribi
Zuri grape grown only on the northern coast of Spain.
The Hondarribi Zuri is considered to be the best variety for
Txakoli thanks to its organoleptic qualities and its ability
to adapt to the environmental conditions of the area. The
vineyards producing this grape are all quite small and the
wine is made in miniscule quantities in three neighbouring
denominations. Denomination Txakoli de Getaria, Getariako
Txakolina, the largest of the three regions, with 200 hectares
of Txakoli vines, is located west of San Sebastián. Denomination
Txakoli de Bizkaia, Bizkaiko Txakolina has 120 hectares of
Txakoli vines and is located around the city of Bilbao. The
newest and smallest region of the three, D O Txakoli de Alava,
Arabako Txakolina, with 60 hectares under vine, was designated
D O status by the Basque government in 2003 and is located
further inland than the others.
All the txakolis are refreshing
and dry. They are sold within the year, mainly to neighbouring
regions and a few parcels to specialist shops around Spain.
The coastal wines (DO Txakoli de Getaria) have a characteristic
chalky minerality that is both refreshing and has a very distinctive
taste. The wines from the inland vineyards (DO Txakoli de
Bizkaia and DO Txakoli de Alava) show apricot and peach flavours
that moderate the minerality of the wine.
Txakolina, which has the same name as its denomination, Arabako
Txakolina, produces 95% of the total production from this
DO. It was established in 1997 by a small group of 12 growers based
in Amurrio who decided to pool their resources and establish the denomination. Situated in the foothills of the Salvada mountains, in the Basque region of Txakoli de Alava, the vineyard lies in a valley that faces the Atlantic Ocean. At an elevation of 350 metres on the border of Castilla y Leon, the proximity to the Atlantic creates an area with a unique microclimate.The local
indigenous varieties are used, Hondarribi Zuri (“Zuri”
meaning white) and Hondarribi Beltza (“Beltza”
meaning red). Adequate hours of sunshine and moderate rainfall
give the grape proof of around 11%, providing it escapes the
much feared spring frosts which threaten all the plantations
located at the foot of the Salvada mountain range.
Arabako Txakolina is owned and managed by two brothers Fernando
and Mariano Alava, the latter being the winemaker of Xarmant
Txakoli. Viticultural techniques have been greatly improved
with the introduction of trellises to assist the ripening
of the grapes. Phytosanitary treatments have also been implemented
and a systematic method established to monitor maturing processes.
Thanks to the gradual introduction of modern equipment - pneumatic
presses, stainless steel vats, cooling equipment and amicrobic
filtering equipment - the oenological techniques and the optimum
conditions have been achieved to allow the production of a
high quality Txakoli wine.
Click on the underlined grape varieties
for more information.