Gallery: Txakoli: Spain's Refreshing, Effervescent, Hard-to-Pronounce Wine

Hondarrabi Zuri
Hondarrabi Zuri

The vast majority of txakoli is made with white hondarrabi zuri grapes. Hondarrabi beltza is used for red txakoli, or added to white txakoli to produce a rosé.

Txakoli at Atari Gastroteka
Txakoli at Atari Gastroteka

Walk into any pintxo spot in San Sebastián, such as Atari Gastroteka, and you'll be greeted with a wall of green txakoli bottles.

Parral System
Parral System

The parral system, used at Etxaniz, keeps the grapes raised up and away from the humidity in the soil.

Stainless Steel at Txomin Etxaniz
Stainless Steel at Txomin Etxaniz

Txakoli producers have switched from barrels to stainless steel tanks, which help preserve the fresh flavors of the wine.

Txakoli Eukeni
Txakoli Eukeni

Txakoli Eukeni is in the Ayala Valley—it's very sunny and 40 kilometers from the sea. The txakoli produced here is a bit rounder-feeling than the wines made elsewhere, sometimes with a touch of bitterness.

Getaria
Getaria

The Getaria region is the oldest and largest txakoli D.O. It is located right on the Bay of Biscay.

Late Harvest Txakoli
Late Harvest Txakoli

I tried Bodegas Itsas Mendi's late harvest txakoli from 2008. The grapes are harvested in mid-November, compared to September or October. The wine is sweeter, darker in color, and reminiscent of Sauternes.