The sea influences the identity of this wine since 90% of the vineyards are located along the coast, less than a kilometer away from the sea. Nonetheless, it is also produced in certain areas of the interior. The wineries belong to the owners of the vineyards, so the whole process happens on the spot.
This is an area of mild Atlantic climate, with high rainfall levels⎯an annual amount of about 1,600mm⎯ and mild temperatures⎯a minimum of 2oC in winter and a maximum of 35oC in summer. This affects to the txakolí’s aromatic acidity and intensity.
The vineyards are located on slopes looking southeast and never in grounds higher than 100m of altitude, which allows them to be safe from the wind coming from the sea, at the same time as they are very exposed to the sun. The soil where they are cultivated is composed of clay and a fine layer of sandstone. The fact that they are planted using trellis and arbour systems means they are kept away from the soil’s humidity, which, in turn, favours their ripening process.
Recommended varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri (white) y Hondarrabi Beltza (black)
Authorized varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia or Petit Courbu, Izkiriota or Gros Manseng, Riesling and Chardonay.
TYPES OF TXAKOLÍ
It is obtained principally from the Hondarribi Zuri grape variety, and presents hues that range between yellow, green and gold. In the nose it is intense and fresh, with white and green fruit aromas and tinges of fresh grass. Light and harmonious in the palate, it offers a balanced acidity and a light carbonic feeling.
This is elaborated with a minimum amount of 50% of the black variety grape, and it presents a fuchsia hue, brilliant and clear. A wine of citric and fruity aromas, it is harmonious and a little bit carbonic in the palate, with berry-like notes.
Also produced with the variety Hondarribi Beltza, which grants the wine its red-maroon hue and an aroma of berries like blackberry and raspberry. It is fresh, sparkling and carbonic in the palate.
The process that turns the must into wine is carried out in casks. This is a wine that has a yellowish golden hue, and is of a mild intensity in the nose and balanced in the palate, with new wood notes.
Most of the vineyards and wineries are located in coastal slopes and the millenary influence of the sea on this wine goes back to the Basque sailors who would take it with them in their voyages. Although it was on the verge of disappearing in the 19th C., several vine-growers opposed to this and began a renovation task managing small plots. Their work would be finally acknowledged in the year 1989, which marked the birth of the Designation of Origin Getariako Txakolina. To this day, this designation of origin is still the guarantor of spreading this peculiar wine’s characteristics and promoting an innovation in its production.