WINES OF BASQUE COUNTRY
In spite of the difficulties of grapevine to adapt itself to the climate conditions of the Cantabrian coast, placed between mountains and the ocean, vine has always been grown in the basque provinces of Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa. In addition to this, we can’t forget the region of Rioja Alavesa, where some of the best wines in the world are produced.
Along the Basque Cantabrian region the traditional txakoli wines have historically been made. There are two denominations of origin (denominación de origen, D.O., in Spanish) that include this typical wine: D.O. Txakolí of Getaria and D.O. Txakolí of Bizkaia.
Under the Denominations of Origin Txakolí de Getaria and Txakolí de Bizkaia wines with the native varieties hondarrabi zur (white) and hondarrabi beltza (red) are made. The largest production is found in white wines, with their characteristic great balance between sweetness and acidity. They are youthful, fruity wines, with outstanding personality, that use to be served in the same way as sidra, that is, breaking them in the glass so that the carbonic qualities give off their subtle bouquet.
They are very typical wines for the chateo (social wine-drinking in the Basque Country) and they are the ideal accompaniment for fish and seafood.
The region of Rioja Alavesa uses to be analyzed as a part of Rioja, but the fact is that it is actually a geographical and administrative region belonging to Basque Country. That’s why we briefly comment this region climatically distinguished by its mild summers and short winters. The region’s hilly orography and poor chalky lands makes the perfect frame for growing Spain’s most well-known vine variety, tempranillo. Nevertheless, we can¡t talk about an specific wine in this region, since in most of this region’s wineries, coupage (i.e. the blending of different grape varieties) is a common occurrence.