My favorite places in Spain (Basque Country)….Bodega Berroja

Hondarrabi Zuri Ready for Harvest

Some places just feel like home from the very first moment you arrive. I always say that I have many different homes across Spain and Portugal. They are places that I can walk into year after year and and always feel greeted with warmth and friendship. In the Basque Country, up in the hills and looking over the Cantabrian Sea there is a small boutique winery that captured my heart from the very first moment that I arrived over 8 years ago. A winding road takes you up to this magical place that is not visible until you are at its doorstep, not unlike the Guggenheim Museum upon your arrival in Bilbao.

In this paradise, smack in the middle of the Urdabai Biosphere, this boutique winery produces Txakoli. This is the wine unique to the Basque Country, along with its own language, culture, food and sports. It is a wine that has been produced for centuries in the Basque Country. The wine was originally made by and for the families, a yearly production to be enjoyed with the local food. It was produced in Baserris, or farmsteads. The grape, Hondarrabi Zuri, is indigenous to the Basque Country. Txakoli should be served cold, always a short pour and maintaining the correct temperature. It pairs perfectly with seafood and especially a nice cheese such as the Idiazabal cheese, made from the local sheep. It also pairs well with the heavy dishes in this area prepared with ingredients like the local pinto beans from Tolosa. Txakoli cleanses your palate and invites you to indulge more and more, while enjoying the next pintxo that calls your attention! If you really want to enjoy the perfect pairing with a cold glass of Txakoli, you should prepare Bacalao al Pil Pil to accompany. Salt cod with garlic and chili peppers. It is the ideal combination.

Vineyards Bodega Berroja

Bodega Berroja is a short drive from Bilbao, and here you will meet José Ángel, the owner of the winery. I find myself at a loss for words to describe José Ángel. Those of you who have been lucky enough to meet him already know what I mean, and those of you who will be fortunate enough to visit in the future will be endeared by his kindness and authenticity. There are few people in this world like him and he has always encouraged me to live my dreams, just as he has, since the moment that we met.

José Ángel
Tasting during the Harvest

Originally, Txakoli is and should be enjoyed as a young and sparkling wine. It will accompany your fantastic pintxos as you wander through the streets of Bilbao, Vitoria or Gernika. It is unusual to be able to enjoy a glass of Txakoli outside of the Basque Country unless you are lucky to be in a Basque bar in a city like Barcelona or are lucky enough to know of a great wine importer in your local area! Nowadays, wineries like Berroja also produce Txakoli that can be enjoyed with a long, sit down meal as well. They even produce a rose if that is what you fancy!

Txakoli Tasting with Idiazabal Cheese

Yesterday, March 19th was Father’s Day in Spain. It is also the day of San José. Happy Father´’s Day and Happy 80th Birthday to my Father who recently celebrated in February!! I hope you are enjoying that glass of Txakoli right now.

Read more about the Basque Country in these posts……………….

https://mooninspain.com/2020/05/14/from-cod-to-albacore/

https://mooninspain.com/2020/06/20/art-architecture-and-food-art-in-bilbao/

https://mooninspain.com/2014/11/19/el-txikiteo/

https://mooninspain.com/2015/08/18/tourist-remember/

4 thoughts on “My favorite places in Spain (Basque Country)….Bodega Berroja

  1. Margaret,
    I remember the great tour and lunch we had at the Bodega during our tour. I remember you getting the owner to speak to us for a few minutes , he was working where the holding tanks were. I don’t think he would have agreed to speak to anyone else but you. I also remember Guillermo having to back up the bus on the tiny one lane road to the vineyard. We have great pictures of the lunch and vineyards. Fantastic memories of that day. Can’t wait till we can travel again. Judy and I have received both shots of the covid vaccine. Hope all is well with you and you family.

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    1. Many of those photos are from that day!! It is even more special because it was the last time I was there and I was with all of you!! I am sending you all so much love. I hope to see you again very soon!!

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  2. Margaret…gran descripcion de la regioin y el vino…ahora tengo otro lugar que quiero visitar en Espana…

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