Spain’s majestic Basque Country is well known for its stunning scenery and world-renowned gastronomy, but until recently, the region was not well known abroad for its wines. Recently though, this beautiful area is getting international press and kudos. Located North West of the Rioja appellation, the region boasts two small white wine appellations – Bizkaiko Txakolina and Getariako Txakolina.
It is in the latter where we find Txomin Etxaniz, a small and impressive producer of Txakoli wines. Txomin Etxaniz is one the region’s most historic winemakers, with a pedigree that stretches back to the 17th century. Indeed, ancient documents indicate that an ancestor, Domingo de Etxaniz, was linked to growing vines in Getaria as far back as 1649. Since that date, successive generations of the Txueka Etxaniz family have run this beautiful property, tending to 35 hectares of naturally cultivated vineyards, carved into steep terraced slopes overlooking the Bay of Biscay, where apple and pear trees are as feature a much of the landscape as vines. Their mission is simple – to make the finest Txakoli around, a wine style largely unknown outside of Spain.
Hard to pronounce and even harder to discover, Txakoli is one of the wine world’s best-kept secrets. At its best, this refreshing white wine – made from only the indigenous Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza – is delicious, offering a zesty fruit intensity bursting with green, stony mineral characters. It deserves pairing with only the finest, freshest seafood – something that is happily found in abundance in the Basque country.
Today, Txomin Etxaniz remains one of the finest producers of Txakoli in Spain, in addition to making a vibrant sparkling style and a moreish late-harvest wine that is perfect with foie gras. What sets them apart is the depth, style, and intensity, a quality rarely found in light whites, even the splendid wines of Txakoli.
Txomin Etxaniz (Txakoli)
Hondarrabi Zuri (90%) and Hondarrabi Beltza (10%). The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and held over its sediment before bottling. A fresh, fruity white that is ideal with seafood.
Hondarrabi Zuri (90%) and Hondarrabi Beltza (10%). The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in barrel for 15 months, before being subject to a secondary fermentation to produce sparkling wine. The perfect aperitif!
Uydi (late harvest)
Hondarrabi Zuri (90%) and Hondarrabi Beltza (10%) Late harvested grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks, with the fermentation stopping before all the sugar is converted to alcohol. A delicious dessert wine.
Eitzaga Auzoa, 13
Tel +34 943 14 07 02
- DO Getariako Txakolina
- Area under vine
- 35 hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+ Low yields
- Oak barrel origin
- Oak foudres (vats)
- Andres Txueka
- Txueka family
- 650,000 bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
- Grape varietals
- Hondarrabi Zuri (90%) and Hondarrabi Beltza (10%)