This article was translated by John R. Bopp
The FWT Magazine, the official magazine of the The International Food Wine Travel Writers Association, has just published an article by Hilarie Larson about txakoli.
The article’s title is quite appropriate. Up until just a few years ago, Denomination of Origin txakolis were not known abroad, nor was their quality good enough to be considered “presentable”. A lengthy, laborious process of improvement at every stage of production, from the grapes to final distribution, has given txakoli greater international prestige, as can be seen in a selection of articles that we’ve been collecting.
But we say that this article has an appropriate title because it’s about one of the Denominations of Origin of the wine that is produced in our country. Hilarie Larson mentions the other, Rioja Alavesa red wine.
But those two are not the only Basque wines. We also have Lower Navarrese wines, which, in addition to also making Riojas, offers wines of its own Denomination of Origin, “Wines of Navarre”.
And then there’s the wine from Upper Navarre, on the other side of the Pyrenees. These are the wines of Irulegi, classified under the “Irouléguy” Denomination of Origin.
None too shabby for a small country of only 20,000 km² (8,000 sq mi—just larger than Massachusetts). This tiny country offers several quite varied micro-climates, a well-rooted wine culture, and an enormous ability to produce several different high-quality wines which all have their own personalities.
Hilarie Larson goes into great detail about the whole process that takes this Bay of Biscay wine, this Atlantic wine, from the farmhouses to supermarkets around the world, and from how it went from being a low-quality wine no one cared about to being recommended by wine experts everywhere.
This process, by the way, greatly recalls the process our whole nation is undergoing, thanks, in no small part, to our traditional/modern cuisine, which has become one of the most renowned in the world, turning us into “the Culinary Nation“.
FWT Magazine – 19/6/2019 – USA
Txakoli – the ‘Other’ Basque Wine
Travel opens the door to a host of enriching experiences: the first glimpse of a famous city, that connection when a local recognizes your attempt at speaking their language or discovering a culture through its cuisine. The Basque Country of Spain is a perfect example of this ‘sense of place’; —a destination where food and wine entwine with a proud heritage, a unique language, and abundant hospitality.