Despite the rain in Spain that [doesn’t] remain only in the plains, we got up early and again we found ourselves along the narrow, dirt roads of Basque country, bumpity bumpity, this time en route to the txakolí bodega, Rezabal, in Guetaria. It’s never too early in País Vasco to drink txakolí.
We chatted for hours with the husband and wife duo (Ander Rezabal and Mireia Osinalde) about the sparkling white native to Basque country, which is still unbeknownst to most of the world. Did you know…
- Txakolí almost went into extinction in the 1940s
- Grapes are grown on a high trellis system
- Txakolí can be made from white grapes, red grapes or a blend of both
- Txakolí used to be fermented in oak barrels but most vineyards today use stainless steel vats for single fermentation
- Txakolí is poured from a height to create bubbles and fizz, making it more effervescent when consumed
- The ideal serving temperature is 6-10˚c
- Txakolí is usually drunk within one year of its bottling
- It is acidic, tannic, slightly fruity and at times salty with a lingering finish
Like sidra, when you want txakolí from the vat, you say “Txox!” and bring your glass from down low up towards the spout. Pouring (or in this case, receiving) from such an altitude ‘breaks’ the txakolí, allowing it to emit noticeably brighter scents.
The txakolí received from the vats (versus that poured from bottles) is unmistakably different in color, smell and taste.
Bodegas Rezabal: Itsas Begi 628, Asti Auzoa, Zarautz. Tele: 943.580.899