The traditions of growing grapes and making wine in the Basque region of Bizkaia date back thousands of years. Early vineyards were located near the coastal towns of Bilbao, Lekeitio, Ondarroa, and Gernika, to supply the local demand for wine. The first references to “txakoli” date to the 17th century, but it is only in the latter half of the 20th century that the regional wines started to make their mark. The DO was created in 1994.
Bodegas Itsasmendi (means sea and mountains) was established in 1995, with approximately 27ha vineyards planted in 1989, and which has now expanded to 35ha, in 15 different sites covering 9 separate municipalities. The vineyards are uniquely sheltered from the north winds and planted in such a way as to maximize exposure to sunlight, and each site has a unique soil composition and microclimate. Modern winemaking techniques result in bright, fresh wines, full of personality and richness. Winery capacity is currently 250,000 bottles, but current production is less than half. A new winery is under construction.