Strictly speaking, ‘Green Spain’ describes the north-west province of Galicia, with a tiny bit of Castilla y León attached. However if you stand in the vineyards, then you’ll immediately understand that ‘Green Spain’ actually stretches round the NW corner and East along the coast of the Bay of Biscay towards the Pyrenees. This is where the Atlantic wind and rain make themselves felt.
It’s not easy being a grower in these areas. Rainfall is around 1600mm in Getariako Txakolina, the highest in Spain, with similar quantities in Rías Baixas. The risk of vine disease is high. In the coastal areas the grapes don’t reach high ripeness. Yet, that is the distinct advantage of these maritime terroirs. The alcohols are balanced, hovering around 12-13% ABV. Above all, the acidity is ever-present, making these ideal, thirst-quenching wines in times of climate change. The classic image of Txakolí is the wine of Getaria, poured from a height to liberate the spritz. There are more styles worth exploring in the Txakolís of Bizkaya and Álava, from Chardonnay-like whites, to exceptionally pure sweet wines, to reds and rosados, and even some traditional method sparkling.