This is the youngest and smallest designation of origin, with just five villages from the Ayala valley comprised in it: Aiara, Artziniega, Amurrio, Llodio and Okondo, where there are seven wineries at the moment.
This is a mild Atlantic climatic area, with an average temperature of 13.1oC, annual 899L rainfall, 170 south wind days and an average of 12 sunlight hours a day during the vegetational process that extends from April to October.
The major features of the landscape have remained the same, and although the number of vineyards has grown lately, still all of them are located close to the wineries, never outside a 3km radius. The soil features a pH that varies between 5.2 and 8.2 and a proportion of active lime between 6.2 and 9.2. These grant this specific wine a peculiar acidity and a light bitterness in the aftertaste.
Recommended varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri (white) y Hondarrabi Beltza (black)
Authorized varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia/Petit Courbu, Izkiriota/Gros Manseng, Izkiriota Ttippia/Petit Manseng, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay.
TYPES OF TXAKOLÍ
The color of this wine ranges from greenish to straw-like yellows. Due to its natural carbonic elements, it offers a mild intensity in the nose, together with aromas of green apples, tropical fruits and citruses, and more subtle herbal and floral notes. In the palate, this is a slightly acidic and fairly persistent wine that might, at times, have a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Its color stands out, which can range from light pink to salmon pink. Its natural carbonic elements enhance the aromas of fruit, berries (including cherries), flowers and herbs. In the palate it is slightly acidic, quite fruity and it can have a slight kick to it.
This wine features a very characteristic deep-red cherry color and very intense violet and purple hues. It contains natural carbonic elements, so present in this type of wine. It is very intense in the nose, and its aromas may remind us of orchard produce, berries, flowers and herbs. In the palate it is a fresh and slightly acidic wine where fruity aromas are predominant. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste.
As it has no natural sediments, its features a straw-like yellow. In the nose, the two predominant aromas are those of citrus fruits and toasted wood granted by the cask itself. In the palate it is very well structured and offers tastes that bring to mind wood and acid fruits. A very slight bitterness could appear in the aftertaste.
During the last decades, the Ayala valley has recovered an old vine-growing tradition that was already present many centuries ago⎯there are written references about the vineyards of Artziniega that date back to 864. Although it had once been a widespread activity, it was on the verge of disappearing in the last century with only 5 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of vine left. Today, the production of this wine in Álava is on the track of recovery as it has entered a process of renovation and restructuring thanks mainly to the DO Txakolí de Álava