Pais Vasco - Home the unique Txacoli

Situated near the northern coast of Spain, flanking the Bay of Biscay, País Vasco is one of the wettest areas in Spain and the homeland of “txakoli”, a wine produced nowhere else in the world. The name “txakoli” is believed to have its origin in the Basque term “etxakoa” meaning “made at home”. Traditionally, the majority of vineyards in the region were small family plots and txakoli was made for personal consumption.

The first reference to 'vino chacolín' (txacoli wine) is from 1623 here and in later writings there is mentions of its excellent quality.

In the late 19th century, the region’s vineyards were devastated by powdery mildew and phylloxera. The combined effect of competition from foreign wine markets, changes in consumer tastes, and a flourishing industrial activity in the region (drastically reducing the labor force available for viticulture), seemed to have sentenced the Basque wine industry to death. By the mid-20th century, there were almost no vineyards left.

Fortunately, a group of growers and winemakers formed an association to preserve txakoli, a unique wine of local tradition: “Asociación de Txakolineros de Bizkaia” was created in 1980, and vineyards started to be recovered and replanted. Soon after that, due to a significant increase in quality, three DOPs were awarded.

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