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Parras de txakoli

Introduction to Txakoli

As old as the hills and the history of Baskland, this smooth, young and fruity wine is produced in Bizkaia and other parts of the Basque Provinces through the wise combination of traditional and modern wine production methods.

Facing south and protected from the cold north-eastern winds by natural barriers, the vines are found on the hillsides next to the Cantabrian Sea. In this environment the grapes ripen suitably with the south wind which arrives at the beginning of autumn.

Centuries of history

Produced for centuries in farmhouses, using secrets which were passed down from father to son, Txakoli is a manifestation of popular Basque culture, further endowing it with its particular mythical tradition.

Deeply rooted in the collective memory of Bizkaia, the first written references date from the 13th and 14th centuries. It was formally presented in old texts such as the Ordinances of Lekeitio and Portugalete. These only allowed ships to unload wine in the port if they also unloaded an equal amount of Txakoli from Portugalete. The Ordinances of Lekeitio offered tax exemption for vine arbours.

Vineyards soon became popular and were appeared in countless places in Bizkaia. Indeed the word Txakoli came to refer not only to fresh young wine, but also to the cosy, familiar places where, gathered around a few bottles, Basques would talk, place bets, or simply enjoy a well earned rest after a hard day’s work.

After a serious crisis which almost led to the disappearance of both the vineyards and of Txakoli, it once again started to pick up and gain momentum around 1980. Txakoli thus came to be understood as a concept of wine. The production areas are also considered proper wine cellars, and the final product is unquestionably a very special wine which could be a serious contender in the competitive market of quality wines.

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