Top 10 Spanish regions to watch

18th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Txakoli

Txakoli (pronounced Chacolí) is a fresh, crisp, light white with a hint of spritz and a lick of salt from the Atlantic Ocean comparable to Portugal’s Vinho Verde.

Produced in three DOs in the Basque Country: Bizkaiko Txakolina to the south-west of Bilbao, Getariako Txakolina, which borders the Cantabrian coast, and Arabako Txakolina, the furthest inland, the trio form one of Spain’s smallest but most hyped wine regions with around 600 hectares under vine dominated by flagship white grape, Hondarrabi Zuri.

While small in stature, the region has recently caught the eye of both consumers and critics. Keen to up their game, producers are turning their backs on the sharp whites of the past to embrace modern styles that offer freshness and restrained alcohol around the 11% abv mark.

While vines have been growing in the area as far back as 1649, production across the three sub-zones remains small. At popular London tapas bar Donostia, Txakoli is poured Basque-style from a height into glass tumblers adding a dash of theatre to proceedings and helping to aerate the wine in the process.

The US has also developed a thirst for the gently sparkling white, which is gaining a legion of followers in New York, spearheaded by Manhattan restaurant Txikito, which hosts an annual Txakoli fair, Txikifest, showcasing Basque food and the latest Txakoli releases from a number of key producers in the region.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Spanish regions to watch”

  1. Great review of some unknown regions of spain, congrats!
    Thanks to help understanding that Spain is much more than Rioja and Rinera Del Duero… Now for the next one, please have a look to Ribera Del Jucar, smallest wine region of spain, right between Mancha and Manchuela, special terroir with only a few producers working with local varieties as Bobal, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Cencibel and other foreing such Petit Verdot, Merlot, etc that has adapted in an spectacular way showing special tipicity… you want uniqueness? go Ribera Del Jucar.

  2. Colin Harkness says:

    Interesting & encouraging article, thnx. Also responsible for increased intetest in Spanish wines are articles by wine luminaries such as Jancis Robinson MW & + on a much smaller but longer lived scale, myself, in Cork Talk costa-news.com, now in its 17th year and still promoting all that’s good in the happening world of Spanish wine!

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