This post was also published on The Center for Basque Studies Blog.
Spring time is approaching (believe it or not), and for me one of my favorite warm weather activities is sitting on a patio with a refreshing rosado or rosé wine.
As promised, I intend to share some of the benefits of doing fieldwork in a place that is world-renowned for their gastronomy. I am excited to share that I had an interview with one of the most prominent txakolineros here in the Basque Country.
Txomin Etxaniz, as I have been told by many, is considered a founding father for the Getariako Txakolina Denominación de Origen. I was therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Mikel, who’s grandfather is the nephew of Txomin Extaniz himself. Mikel’s father was one of the men responsible for starting the Denominación de Origen (Designation of origin) in 1989, which originally grew from the seven families that were involved. It was much earlier, however, that the family was written into the history of viticulture in the region. In 1649, the Gipuzkoa Protocol Archives mention Domingo de Etxaniz as being linked to growing vines in Getaria. The family and team still produce this relic of Basque viticulture that started well before Basque gastronomy became world-famous. From my personal experience, it is one of the most popular labels you can find in the United States for Getariako Txakolina D.O.
I don’t know if there is anything better than drinking this rosado on a hot summer’s day. This is the Basque version of the label, while it is translated into English in the United States.
(Txakolin Gorria, translates to “red” txakoli, versus the txakolin beltza which means “black” txakoli-much like the French use of “noir” in Pinot Noir). The acidity seems to be perfectly balanced by the fruitiness that results from mixing the hondarrabi beltza varietal with the better known white hondarrabi zuri (white varietal). Take it a step further by pairing it with seafood, a creamy brie, or strawberries, and your tastebuds will jump for joy.
While this is a fairly easy find in the United States, which demands much of the rosado production, there’s nothing like drinking this beauty here, close to its roots in Euskalherria. Did I mention this place comes with a view?
Here is a line-up of all their delicious fermented grape products:
Cheers, or as they say in the Basque Country, “Topa!”