Basque country wine region. Patricia R. Soto/©ICEX.
The Basque Country, located in the north of Spain, includes the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya, the last two being on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. The region spans an area of 7,230.33 sq. kilometers / 2,791.6 sq. miles. The capital city is Vitoria.
The greater part of wine production is concentrated in the south (Rioja Alavesa) and is encompassed in the Qualified Designation of Origin Rioja (DOCa), while the predominant wine made along the coastal areas is a young, acid white called txakoli (which is likewise protected by its respective designations of origin: Bizkaiko Txakolina, Txakoli de Álava y Getariako Txakolina). There is also significant cider production, particularly in the provinces of Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa.
The grape varieties that are currently authorised by the Regulations of the DOCa Rioja are:
- Red: Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, Maturana Tinta, Garnacha.
- White: Viura, Malvasía, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo.
Txakoli wines are made mainly with white grapes Ondarrabi Zuri and Ondarrabi Zuri Zerratia, and red grape Ondarrabi Beltza.