Txakoli - The Unique White Wine of the Basque Country

Txakoli - The Unique White Wine of the Basque Country

Txakoli is without a doubt one of the Basque Country's best kept secrets. It's a white wine produced exclusively in this small corner of the world, on the slopes and valleys overlooking the Bay of Biscay. Due to its limited production and great local popularity, only the most discerning and curious palates have discovered it outside these lands.

Txakoli isn't a grape variety, but a Basque word (the local language) derived from "etxe-egin," meaning "homemade." Txakoli isn't as ancient as the Basque language (one of the oldest in Europe), but it's close: there is evidence that over 400 years ago, the Basques were already producing and consuming it.

The Magalarte winery undoubtedly reflects this tradition. This family-run vineyard is located in the Txorrierri valley, between the city of Bilbao and the coast, with a microclimate that allows for creating this very unique wine. Four generations of the Magalarte family have been producing Txakoli, but only recently have they expanded their reach outside the region.

The winery is part of the Bizkaiko Txakolina denomination of origin, a seal that ensures the quality, origin, and exclusivity of the product. To get this certification, the wine must be grown within the small region—which is only about 500 acres (200 hectares) large.  In the Basque Country there are also two other denominations, Gizpuzkoako Txakolina and Arabako Txakolina, for Txakoli produced in the territories of Guipúzcoa and Álava. 

Additionally, at least 80% of the grapes used to make Txakoli must be "Hondarribi zuri," a native grape variety. Hondarribi Zuri can be mixed with other grapes to make Txakoli. At Magalarte, some of their blends contain small parts of Riesling and Petit Manseng.

Andoni Aretxabaleta is the young farmer currently leading the Magalarte winery, primarily responsible for evolving the product and, according to experts, making it one of the best white wines not just in the region, but in the world.

At Marianito we agree 100% with these reviews and that is why we are delighted to bring this little piece of the Basque Country to your table.

Pro tip: Pair a cool glass of Txakoli with a Gilda (local pintxo) just before lunch (12:00-14:00) for the ultimate aperitivo.

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