Up and around the windy road we drove with breathtaking views of the beautiful coastal town Zarautz. We spent the 30 minute drive ooolah-ling while snapping several pictures. The view of the ocean on one side and a view of perfectly green hills on the other, there was just so much to see. But the best view of them all was visible at the top of the mountain at our excursion spot for the day, the Txakolina winery. The hundreds of grape vines running through the green hills resembled an image you would see on the label of a fancy wine bottle selling for a pretty penny. This place was incredible.
Behind the wooden castle like doors of the winery, we met our tour guide for the day. The women was so passionate about what her family has been producing here for years. The tour offered my classmates and I to get an inside look at how this family of several generations managed to produce these beautiful wines literally in their back yard. The view the winery offered was amazing but every hidden detail behind the process in making each and every bottle was so unique. From the vine to the flower to the fruit to the wine, every inch of production happened right here at the winery. There were different rooms in the winery were the different steps of the process took place. First there was a machine that separated the grapes to get the perfect pieces for the wine. In the next room over, the process continued. Here the wine sat in enormous barrels while it was carbonated. The process shocked us all and it was truly amazing.
The women explained that June was the most important month in the whole wine process, if the weather isn’t exactly right, the year could be a terrible one. When we asked what the best year was for her family’s winery, she couldn’t recall but she could sure remember the worst, 2013. After the Summer months in late September the grapes would be picked and the wine process would begin. In just three short months, the wine would already be in the bottle. The unique process this family used, allowed for the wine to be drank immediately after being put into the bottle. The tour taught us so much and we were all very excited to give the wines a taste!
Up the spiral wooden stairs we went to a dinning like area where our tasting would take place. On the table was a beautiful spread. There sat two bottles of wine, one white and one rosè next to twelve delicate wine glasses, one for each member of our group. Next to the wine was a cheese platter with a delicious chorizo meat. Both the wines and the spread were amazing, most of the class enjoyed the white wine the best. As we enjoyed the wine and snacks, many of us purchased the wine to bring back home as gifts to their family, to share our the once in a life time experience with the ones back home.
After enjoying the small snacks and wine, as a group, we spent the majority of the rest of the time admiring the scenic view. The view at the winery was unlike any i’ve ever seen before, despite the rain, the pictures we took were unreal. We took several photos of one another, some solo and some with friends. Before arriving, Julian told us that this would be the perfect spot to take a new profile picture for our social media pages and boy was he right. The scenery was picture perfect and the memories and photos taken here will last us all a life time.
But the winery was so much more then just delicious wines and small snacks with beautiful views, the winery immersed us into the basque culture even more. Being in the hills located in the center of the basque region with a women who was so proud of what her family has accomplished, was quite inspiring. All their dedication put into the wine, has paid off. Their small basque family winery is expanding and are now sending their wine to the States to California!
Thus far, I think the winery was one of the most beautiful locations we visited on our trip and yet we still have two more weeks to soak in so many more! Anyways, cheers to the remainder of our trip in San Sebastián! Adios Amigos!