Vizcaya offers a wide range of very diverse areas. In general, the vineyards are planted surrounding an urban nucleus, which means they will potentially be close to industrialized areas, at the same time as being located close to the coast or in the interior, usually at a medium altitude. Thus, each location will produce a particular txakolí.
The Atlantic climate and the influence of the Bay of Biscay offer the optimum characteristics for a proper cultivation of vine and the grape’s ripening process. Among these, we could mention the humidity; the sea-influenced, mild summer-temperatures; south winds that produce dry and warm autumns and the abundant rains in winter and spring.
The height at which vineyards can be found varies, from those located at sea level to others at 400m above sea-level. They are usually planted in areas of calcite and marl stone and in rather acid and clayey shallow soil. The fact that the vineyards are planted downslope helps them make the most of the sunshine, regardless of the generally cloudy climate.
Recommended grape varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri y Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia (white) and Hondarrabi Beltza (black).
Authorized grape varieties: Mune Mahatsa, Izkiriota, Izkiriota Ttippia, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonay.
TYPES OF TXAKOLÍ
Produced using the recommended varieties of Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Zuri Zerratia, its colors range from a variety of yellows to even greenish hues.
It has a mild intensity but a complex aroma in the nose, where it offers an ensemble of fruity, floral, citrusy and herbal components. Besides, it is slightly acidic, fresh and balanced in the palate, with a rather bitter aftertaste.
Also known as ‘Ojo de gallo’ (Rooster’s eye), the black grape variety Hondarribi Beltza must be present in it in a minimum percentage of 50%. This yields a wine of pinkish color that contains the aromas of berries, together with notes of orchard produce like that of green peppers. It drinks very easily thanks to its rather light structure in the palate. It tastes fruity and offers a lingering aftertaste.
A very characteristic young wine that is principally produced around Bakio, Balmaseda and the Txorierri valley using the Hondarribi Beltza variety. It is of a very strong red color with violet and cherry-like hues. It is intense in the nose, with notes of berries and orchard produce like green peppers that are also present in the aftertaste.
The fermentation in oak casks gives the wine a very characteristic yellow hue that ranges from straw-like to a more pallid one. It offers fruity and floral aromas, together with other balsamic ones, all of which are still perceptible in the aftertaste.
During the 20th C., the fierce competition of foreign wines, industrialization and plagues led these vineyards to the verge of disappearing. In the 80s, a group of local producers begins working in their recovery. This group would set the basis for the upcoming DO Txakolí de Bizkaia – Bizkaiko Txakolina, which is one of the main factors behind the growth that this sector has enjoyed as of late.