Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Txakoli, usually white wine made in Spain’s basque country, known as Chacolí, in Castilian. Like vinho verde it is strongly Atlantic influenced and is usually sold young, very slightly sparkling, and low in alcohol. A century ago over 1,000 ha of vines stretched from Bayonne to Bilbao, but after phylloxera ravaged the region, few vineyards were replanted. With cool summers, and an annual rainfall of 1,500 mm/58 in, this is hardly ideal grape-growing country. The high trained Hondarribi Zuri white grape variety, which accounts for 85% of Txakoli, traditionally produced thin wines, but quality noticeably improved during the 1990s. Hondarrabi Beltza makes light reds for local consumption.