Artomaña Txakolina was founded in 1988, becoming the first producer in the region when twelve growers began recovering the tradition of producing Txakoli wine in Álava and established the denomination of Arabako Txakolina in 2002. Up to this point, the tradition of making txakoli was mostly lost throughout many of the Basque provinces, except for Getaria, where the culture never died, and their historical vine material was used to replant Álava.
Eugenio Alava Ugarte was the visionary and first generation of the project to revitalize txakoli in the 1980’s and 90’s. He was responsible for the vision of replanting the txakoli vineyards he remembered as a boy with his original 6ha of hondarrabi zuri in 1988. In 2005 Eugenio’s two sons, the Alava brothers, furthered the family project by striking out on their own as Artomaña Txakolina. Together they founded a new cellar, combining their vineyards to achieve the current 20ha and with the rebirth of the txakoli tradition, passing Eugenio’s vision onto the third generation.
They named their wine Xarmant: “charming” in French, a fitting reflection of this joyous wine from the bountiful Amurrio valley in Spanish Basque Country.
Artomaña Txakolina is located north of the town of Amurrio at 350m in the verdant foothills of the Sierra Salvada mountains, next to the Nervión river before the magnificent waterfall of Salto del Nervión drops over 270m, creating one of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in all of Western Europe. The Amurrio valley faces the Atlantic Ocean where it’s proximity creates a unique, ideal microclimate. As an aside, this valley is also rich in sloe berries utilized for the local Basque liqueur, Pacharán.
Xarmant utilizes a blend of their estate grapes, which are the traditional varieties indigenous to the Basque region: hondarribi zuri with petit courbu, gros manseng, and petit manseng. The wine is fermented in stainless steel, utilizing indigenous yeasts to allow the grapes to reflect the true qualities of the unique soil and site. Per the style in Álava, Xarmant is bottled with less naturally-occurring residual carbon dioxide than txakoli from other regions, like Getaria.