Winemaking has been taking place in Basque Country since ancient times, with the Romans having first tended vines here. The Spanish region’s mild coastal climate and old-growth vines yield high-quality reds and whites. See below to discover what you should be drinking in Basque Country.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous and most unique wine of Basque Country is txakoli (pronounced “cha-coli”), a fruit-forward and mildly effervescent white. Txakoli is produced in one of three areas with designation of origin status—Getaria, Biscay (Bizkaia), and Álava—and makes for a refreshing accompaniment to seafood pintxos (Basque Country tapas).
Basque Country is also home to Spain’s most renowned wine region: La Rioja. Located to the south of Basque Country, the Rioja Alavesa subregion is known for its full-bodied reds featuring tempranillo grapes, though a small amount of white wine is also produced here using viura (known elsewhere as macabeo) grapes.
- Bar-hop your way around Bilbao during a food and wine tour of the city.
- Learn about traditional winemaking methods during winery tours in Rioja Alavesa, a segment of the famous La Rioja wine region.
- Pair pintxos with Basque Country pours during an expert-led wine tasting in San Sebastián.
- Sip lightly sparkling txakoli wines during an excursion to Zarautz.