Txakoli is one of the world’s great novelty wines. Produced in the breathtakingly beautiful Basque coast, the Txakoli winemakers have to fight the elements (salty, sea air, chilly temperatures, Atlantic winds) to make these zippy white wines that supply all of the bars in San Sebastian. Txakoli is a genuine Basque product, unique in that it is only made in three main villages (Getaria, Zarautz, and Aya), and Basque Country is virtually the only place on earth where you can find it. The Tapas Bars and restaurants of San Sebastian, Bilbao, Getxo, and Hondarribia will always have Txakoli on hand, but finding it in Madrid or Barcelona is difficult.
Txakoli wine is nearly all white, made with the unusual “Hondarribi Zuri” grape. Tiny amounts of red Txakoli are made with the “Hondarribi Beltza” grape (“Beltza” means “Black” in Euskara, the Basque Language). Txakoli is considered a “Vino de Aguja”, meaning there is a slight fizz to it, not quite sparkling but a bit effervescent. The Txakoli wines are very high in acidity and low in alcohol. They suit the array of “Tapas” and “Pintxos” of the Basque bars perfectly, as the strong flavors (sardines, artichokes, garlic, and vinegar) can be disastrous when paired with other wines.
Talai Berri is one of the leading producers of this boutique wine. The winery is beautiful, built in the typical architectural style of the area like a “Caserio”, a Basque farmhouse. Talai Berri is family run, with the parents and two daughters involved in the daily operations and only two permanent staff. It is located in the lush hills above Zarautz, the wealthy seafront village where well-heeled families from San Sebastian have their summer homes. The owner, Bixente Eiagirre Aguinaga is the 4th generation of winemakers in his family, and he is the head winemaker with his daughter Itziar second in command. His wife and another daughter also work full time at Talai Berri, and they hope the sixth generation of winemakers is growing up. The winery produces a microscopic production of Txakoli (white with 4,000 bottles of red) and they also sell a digestive called “Lamin Ura” which is made with their grape seeds and skins and processed at a nearby “Alcolera”. The quality old Talai Berri’s Txakolis is some of the best in the region, and the wines are perfectly suited to the fresh, grilled seafood available all over this gorgeous part of Spain.
Talai Berri Hondarribi Zuri
White wine, 11% alc. To be drunk young, artisan production.
Talai Berri Txakolin Beltza
Red wine, 12% alc. Only 4,000 bottles made annually.
"Aguardiente de Orujo", Firewater. 40% alc, Digestive.
Talaimendi Auzoa, 728 (Kanpinaren Indoan) Apdo. 184
Tel +34 943 13 27 50
- Txakoli de Getaria
- Area under vine
- 9 ha
- Bixente and Itziar Aginaga
- Bixente Eiagirre Aginaga
- Grape varietals
- Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza