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Spain’s secret: Txakoli wines

The first mention of Txakoli (pronounced cha-ko-lee) wines dates back to 1520. The wine was locally consumed and rarely enjoyed beyond Basque Country borders. Historically, home-made in baserris (Basque farm houses), it was considered low-quality wine, and frequently used as barter between neighbors. It was fermented in old oak barrels and carried with it a reputation for going straight to the head, leaving behind serious headaches (cabezon).

Txakoli slowly disappeared until the second half of the 19th (1989) when, thanks to a group of tzakoli lovers, some varieties received the designation of origin certification (Denominacion de Origen or D.O. in Spanish). This took txakoli off life-support and started the process that improved quality. Today txakoli is a very pleasant wine, especially during the spring and summer. It is currently popular in the pintxos bars of San Sebastian, Spain and slowly, slowly becoming popular in other European cities… even finding a pathway into wine shops and restaurants in the USA.

Noted for its light sparkle and baby bubbles, this delicious, refreshing, food-friendly wine brings with it a refreshing, sprightly, puckering acidity, accentuated by the taste fresh lemons, apples and herbs.


Txakoli wines are produced in Getaria, a subregion of the Spanish Basque country. One of the most popular bodegas in the area is Gaintza, with vineyards located on bluffs overlooking the bay in Guipuzcoa. Gaintz (on the top) refers to the location of the winery that was built in 1923 and has the largest collection of vineyards that produce txakoli and includes the Getariako designation of origin. READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL.

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