Txakoli de Getaria - Getariako Txakolina is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) (Jatorrizko Deitura in Basque) for wines, located around the towns of Getaria and Zarautz, small fishing towns on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, in the province of Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, Spain. A small amount of grapes are also grown around the town of Aia.
Txacolí is a thin white acidic wine that can be naturally fizzy and is traditionally served like cider, poured from a height into the glass.
The Denominación de Origen Txacolí de Getaria was created in 1990 and covers around 200 hectares of vineyards, down from over 1,000 hectares at the turn of the 20th century. However, wine had traditionally been made in this manner for hundreds of years and was popular from the Middle Ages up to the end of the 19th Century, when the vines were devastated by phylloxera and the effects of industrialization of the Basque Country. There are now 17 wineries (bodegas) registered with the DO.Maximum summer temperature: 35°C
Minimum winter temperature: 2°C
Mean annual sunlight hours: 1,800
Mean annual rainfall: 1,600 mm
The DO area is protected from the cold northerly winds by the coastal hills, and enjoys a relatively mild climate, with an average annual temperature of 13.5°C, and moderate sunlight hours. Hail is a serious risk for the grapes. The rainfall of 1,600 mm/yr is the highest of all the Spanish wine regions.
Two varieties of grapes are used to make Txacolí de Getaria: Hondarrabi Zuri, a white grape, representing 95% of the grapes planted, and Hondarrabi Beltza, a red grape, representing 5%. Most of the vines are over 80 years old with roots of up to 10 m deep. The vines being so old, it is possible to lift them off the ground and lay them on stoneware pillars, as is done in Galicia, so that the branches and shoots protect the fruit hanging underneath from the elements.
Due to the high rainfall, production is similar to that of Germany or northern France. The phylloxera virus never affected this region, in contrast to the rest of Europe, because the water that accumulates around the roots prevents the virus from attacking (Citation needed). The vines are thus not grafted onto American rootstock but on native Vitis Vinifera. The harvest normally starts at the beginning of October.
The only authorized grapes are Hondarrabi Zuri (white) and Hondarribi Beltza (red).
The vineyards are all located near the coast where they are protected from the spring frost and from the summer heat. They are planted on the southeast facing slopes for additional protection from the sea breezes and in order to receive more sunlight. The slopes are often very steep and sometimes not terraced. The vines are trained over wires and sometimes over earthen or stone pillars. They can be anywhere between 10 and 100 meters above sealevel. The subsoil is predominantly clay covered by a layer of sandy soil.There are 227 ha of vineyards registered with the D.O.
Permitted maximum yield: 72%
Maximum authorized yield: 13,000 kg/ha
Permitted alcohol content: 9.5% - 11.5%
After harvesting and pressing, the must is left to ferment in stainless steel tanks. Traditionally, and until recently, this was done in oak or chestnut barrels, called kupels, in Basque.
Fermentation lasts 20–25 days and then the txacolí is left to lie on its lees. The CO2 prevents oxidation and dissolves the sediments and gives the wine its sparkling characteristic. The wine is not racked so it does not lose its sparkle and is clarified by natural sedimentation by gravity in the tank or barrel.
Traditionally, the wine is tasted on the feast of San Antonio on 17 January, which is known as Txacolí Day (Txacoli Eguna, in Basque).