As I was wandering through my Facebook, I came across a post by Mikel Garaizabal, enologist at Mendraka Winery. For anyone that knows me, I’m a little obsessed with Basque wine–in particular, Txakolina. Although I have not visited the Basque Country in over 10 years, and what I did see of it was only San Sebastian, I hope to visit these fields during my upcoming trip there this summer. This video covers the grape varietals used in producing Txakoli, and even goes into detail to describe the terroir with picturesque views with the ocean in the background, the cycles according to season, and the green hills on which these vines thrive. Take a look below and check out the Bizkaia Denominacion de Origenes.
Charlie Arturaola is a Uruguayan wine expert who starred in El Camino de Vino, and is also the star in the a new independent film directed by Nicolás Carreras and produced by Lino Pujia. In the film, Charlie plays a wine taster that has lost his palate and who goes in search of getting it back. This story takes place between Italy and the Basque Country as Charlie hunts down his lost senses. For a short clip of Charlie in the Basque Country, watch:
Check out the movie coming soon at:
Out of the top 10 restaurants in the world, only two are from the same “country,” one of them being from the Basque Country more specifically. And, even more impressive than that, out of the top 20 restaurants in the world, a whopping FOUR (that is 1/5th everyone!) of the restaurants are from the Basque Country!
Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena, who jointly run the Arzak Restaurant in Donostia-San Sebastián. Photo by Javier Lastras, via Wikimedia Commons
Within the Top 20 are:
#13 Asador Etxebarri
What does this mean for the Basque people? Well, many things I assume, but I’m guessing it has and will continue to bring in more awareness of Basque culture and its talents and adaptability in the modern world. This combination of nostalgia and invention go hand-in-hand to continue giving recognition to and set these people apart in the globalized society. And this may in part be exactly what the culture needs to stay alive.
Click below for the full list of restaurants:
What are the chances that Jaialdi-one of the largest Basque festivals in the world and celebrated only once every five years-would take place the summer after I start my studies at the CBS in Reno?!
Thanks to a couple of acquaintances and friends of friends, I was able to get in touch with sommelier Mikel Garaizabal at Jaialdi. As someone who has worked in the wine industry and has been studying for the CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine exam) it was quite an honor to meet this man who is also an enologist at Mendraka winery (website in progress) making txakolina, expert in working with Tourism and Hospitality, and an author of four books, one of my favorites-the award-winning Txakoli de Bizkaia. El Viaje (Txakoli of Bizkaia: The Journey). Mikel graciously made time for our interview despite his busy schedule, and displayed his enthusiasm as he shared his knowledge of wine and travel. Over the course of the interview, we talked about the history of Txakoli, and a bit about similar wines made in Chile that are remnants of the Basque diaspora. For more information on Mikel Garaizabal check out his website and video below.
http://www.catarvino.com/ (In Spanish and Euskera)
http://www.catarvino.com/portfolio/partes-de-la-vid/ (In Spanish)