My dear friend, Txakoli

Txakoli (Cha-ko-lee)

My drink of choice during my stay in Pais Vasco. Similar to Portuguese Vinho Verde, it is a dry, slightly fizzy wine of an almost salty quality. You can taste the Cantabrian sea breezes that blow off the coast and up the hills where the Hondarribi Zuria (white) and Hondarribi Beltza (red) grape varieties flourish.

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Once a mere table wine, Txakoli has seen a major surge in production and popularity. Lucky for me and other enthusiasts it was brought back from near extinction in 1989 when it receieved its first DO (Denominacion de Origen) from the coastal town of Getaria. It now holds several other DO’s across the Basque region. The white variety is most common, although rose and reds do exist, all of which are best enjoyed within a year of bottling.

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Poured from high above into a tall glass, there is no better accompaniment to a night of pintxos and friends, or a day relaxing on the beach.

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On a sunny afternoon in Getaria we visited Rezabal Txakolindegia, owned by musician couple who’s gorgeous home doubles as the production facility. Our visit began on the patio with a spectacular view of the vines along the hills overlooking the Getarian coast. We sampled two white varieties and a rose, all deliciously crisp and refreshing.

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Our hostess was also gracious enough to prepare some traditional pintxos for us, making us feel more at home than on a tour. I really could sit out there all day. We explored the vines surrounding the house and finally the cellar where all the magic happens.

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It truly was a glorious day.

 

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