Rezabal Txakolina 21

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If you enjoy a glass or two of Vinho Verde in the summer or any time of the year, you'll adore Txakoli. Think of Txakoli as your "Sunday Best" Vinho Verde -- doubling-up everything you love about Vinho Verde into a super-satisfying citrusy glass of sunshine!

The Basque Country in Spain is an incredible land of culture and cuisine; however, it's not a particularly prolific wine-producing region, and viticulture here is no easy task. The region is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean at the Bay of Biscay, resulting in above-average rainfall, excessive summer humidity, and very cool autumn temperatures. It's a terrific climate for growing mold and mildew and maybe not so great for most viticulture.

Txakoli is made from the local Hondarribi grape, a varietal only found in the Basque that's uniquely suited to the local climate. Hondarribi vines are mainly cultivated as pergolas, often high enough for vineyard workers to walk underneath. The pergolas are labor intensive, and while they add to the production cost of Txakoli, they allow for proper ventilation to avoid mold and mildew growth.

A very limited amount of Txakoli arrives here in the States each year. Actually, it's a wonder that any arrives here at all. To start with, there isn't a lot made since less than 1000 hectares of Hondarribi are planted in the region. The main reason is that the fervently nationalistic Basques love their Txakoli and love draining glasses of Txakoli in pincho bars, the local version of a tapas bar. With most of the local population enjoying a glass of Txakoli in one hand and a pincho in the other, you can see why there isn't a lot of Txakoli left for export!

The Ander Rezabal Aizpiarte winery cultivates 22 hectares of Hondarribi vines near the seaside resort of Zarautz. The estate's vineyards loom directly above the coast, which drops steeply into the sea here, as is often the case in the Basque Country.

In your glass, Rezabal is classic Txakoli -- light, lean, very fresh, mineral-driven, and featuring a powerful beam of citrus and orchard fruits. Enjoy this gorgeous white with shellfish, white-fleshed fish, and cool summer salads.



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