Bengoetxe is 95% Hondarrabi Zuri and 5% Iskirita Zuri Hadia. Slow wild yeast fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks located in their garage. The wine is raised on the lees for up to a year with no batonnage. Sulphur levels are kept to a minimum. Bottled unfiltered and unfined.
45 kilometers inland from San Sebastian in the village of Olaberria. High on a clay slope sits Bengoetxe, an ancient farmhouse that had been handed down through generations. In 2001, the current generation Inaki and Rosa Mari Exteberria planted their land. 3.8 hectares of local varieties: Hondarrabi Zuri and Iskirita Zuri Hadia, known as Gros Manseng in France. They farmed organically from the beginning and, in 2007, became the first Txakoli producer to gain organic certification.
DO certification only came after a battle with the local authorities. Although historical records show viticulture in Olaberria going back several hundred years, the village had fallen into vinous obscurity after the Civil War and the DO boundary had to be extended to include them.
The wines Bengoetxe produce show a curious mixture of the piercingly dry, high acid profile typical of the Basque whites and a more atypical mountain wine herb and pine complexity. They make no effort to preserve the slight sparkle of commercially produced Txakoli, nor is the salinity that is prized by the coastal producers around Bizkaiko possible at the altitude and distance inland that the farm inhabits. The wines produced here are distinctly of the ground they farm but the novelty of being the only producer this far inland to work with Hondarrabi Zuri and Iskirita means that they have always produced a uniquely textured and savoury version of Txakoli
pronounced: chak -o -lee. Slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content produced in the Spanish provinces of the Basque Country, Cantabria and northern Burgos.
It is normally drunk young and fresh, served into tall glasses poured from a height as an aperitif.
Rose and Red examples are available too.