The Basque Country

The Basque Country

D.O. Arabako Txakolina
[official D.O. website]

Arabako Txakolina

> Artomaña Txakolina

The newest of Spain's Txakolina D.O.s, Arabako was formed in 2003. The vineyard sites are located within the valley of Ayala that is comprised of the municipalities of Llodio, Amurrio, Okondo, Artiziega, and Aiara. Production of wine in this ancient area dates back to 760 AD, but in the 19th century the majority of the vineyards were wiped out by diseases such as phylloxera. Modernization and replanting began in the late 1980s and today there are 60 hectares.

D.O. Bizkaiko Txakolina
[official D.O. website]

Bizkaiko Txakolina

> Uriondo
> Doniene Gorrondona

Centered around Bilbao on Spain's north coast, this D.O. is as unique as the Basque culture that surrounds it. The Hondarribi Zuri grape occupies 80 percent of the vineyards, and it's found nowhere else in the world. Other varieties grown include Hondarribi Beltza, Mune Mahatsa and Txori Mahatsa. Soils are sandy and loose alluvial over a clay and limestone base. Coastal vineyards are planted on steep slopes to shed the excess rainfall provided by the maritime climate. The wines show a crisp, green-fruit style with fresh acidity.

D.O. Getariako Txakolina
[official D.O. website]

Getariako Txakolina

> Ameztoi

Founded in 1989, Getariako Txakolina is comprised of 177 hectares in the municipalities of Getaria, Zarauz and Aia. The majority of the grapes planted in the region are Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Beltza. The vineyard sites are greatly influenced by their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The soil is chalky with rich organic material.

Euskal Sagardoa
[official D.O. website]

> Isastegi

The D.O.P. of Euskal Sagardoa was founded in 2016 to ensure the provenance of sagardo naturala, or "natural cider" from the Basque Country. Ciders from this D.O.P. must be natural ciders, produced using traditional methods without the addition of sugars or carbonic acid, that are made from only native apples grown in the providence of Gipuzkoa. Extensive laboratory analysis is also used to enforce quality control and ensure that all ciders are free of additives and meet the requirements of natural cider.

Sagardo naturala has been produced in the Basque Country for over 2,000 years. This style of cider is something unique to the region: it is still (with only mild residual carbonic acid) more bitter than most ciders and has an alcohol content that is typically between five and six percent by volume. The traditional production method starts with the apple harvest in the fall when apples of various native varieties are sorted, ground and pressed. The resulting juice is transferred into kupelas (large, oak barrels) and allowed to ferment until the spring, when it is bottled unfiltered or drank from the barrels in local, seasonal celebrations.