The New Bodega in Town: K5 Txakoliña

Up on the hills overlooking the Bay of Biscay, about ten minutes from San Sebastián, is an experiment that could very well change the future of txakoli, the traditional white “table” wine of Basque Country.
Karlos Arguiñano, the Emeril Lagasse of Basque people, has started a bodega with a few of his friends to see just how high-end txakoli, done without cutting corners, can taste. To understand why that is even necessary, you have to know that there are lots of dirty secrets in the txakoli industry. 


Arguiñano and his associates decided to take matters into their own hands and open K5 Txakoliña, and focus on making a txakoli using only local grapes, for example.  Txakoli almost died out in the last century due to industrialization in the Basque Country and a grape sickness.  The granting of Denominación de Origen in the 1990′s, however, promoted a resurgence.  Now it is made in the Gipuzkoa province as well as Araba and Vizkaya. It is made with two grape varietals: Hondarribi Zuria and Hondarribi Beltza.

 They take their time, not needing to rush bottles to market. An interesting point of the K5 txakoli: normally txakoli is drunk within a year, but the vintners at K5 expect it to remain tasty, perhaps even get better, over the course of three to four.

There are many such things that differentiate this bodega: the process of destemming all the grapes, not common in txakoli makers. Using the majority of the pressed liquid for txakoli vinegar, instead of marketing inferior quality txakoli. Waiting until the ideal harvest time, instead of harvesting early and adding sugar.

So friend Ben laid out some of the world's best anchovies and poured me and a few friends a taste This txakoli is different! It's noticeably less agressive and bubbly in the mouth. It's got a fuller flavor. And with plans to distribute to the United States, soon it will be available for you to try! 

Another chapter in the history of txakoli...