Winery guided visits by Teledonosti.
TXARLI: Hiruzta is the story of a father and his two sons, all of us country people.
A few years ago, inspired by the Hondarrabi Zuri grape variety, we began to look into why there were no vineyards in Hondarribia and why txakoli wine wasn’t made here.
We were drawn to this part of Jaizkibel because it’s sheltered from the sea and, at the same time, is very sunny. You get a microclimate in this area and that’s what attracted us.
When we talked to professional wine-producers in Getaria, they told us it was a magnificent spot to plant vineyards, and that’s precisely what we started doing in 2008, but still without any clear idea about creating a winery.
It was about a year later, when we were able to expand our original plantations, that we decided to build our own winery.
MARINA: Txakoli is made with a grape variety called Hondarrabi. Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltz. But no one had made any txakoli for years.
These documents here in the winery are facsimiles of the ones in the archives at Hondarribia Town Hall. You can see from them that, in fact, txakoli used to be made in Hondarribia in the past, a long time ago. There are some papal bulls from the year 1186 that mention vineyards and gardens in this area. We don't know what type of vineyards they were, but they do show that there was something.
Another fascinating document is the town's coat of arms from 1604. The top part has a vine and bunches of grapes, which indicates that grape vine cultivation was an important activity in those days; otherwise, they wouldn’t have put it there.
We also have another document, dated 1542, that states "txakoli wine from the coast". All of these documents prove that txakoli used to be made around here.
So what happened? Well, this is a border area… When the town came under siege, attackers used to uproot all the crops. Evidence suggests that vineyards were destructed in the siege of 1638. However, thanks to Hiruzta, the Rekalde family has rescued txakoli for Hondarribia from oblivion.
Obviously, we mainly use the Hondarrabi grape, because you need at least 85 % of that variety to produce txakoli. The Protected Designation of Origin we belong to is Getariako Txakolina, like all the other wineries in Gipuzkoa. Regarding the other 15 %, we use other varieties authorised by the label.
We’ve got some Riesling planted, which we haven’t used yet, and Gros Manseng, a French variety from the Jurançon area that’s slightly more aromatic. At Hiruzta, we mainly play with these two varieties.
We organise guided tours of the winery every morning from Wednesday to Sunday. What we do is tell visitors about the history and relationship of txakoli with Hondarribia, and how we came to create this winery. We take them around the facilities and explain to them about the different grape varieties we have in the vineyards.
Inside the winery, we show them the production process and then let them taste some txakoli, which we serve with a few local tapas such as anchovies and bonito, the northern variety of tuna.
TXARLI: Hiruzta, as I’ve already said, comprises a father and his two sons. Hiru means three in Basque —three for three people, three families—, and Uzta means harvest. So Hiruzta means “harvest of three”.
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