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Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Bizkaiko Txakolina, Basque Country
People: Iker and Asier Ulibarri, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Certified Organic
Brothers Iker and Asier Ulibarri consider themselves shepherds before all else. In fact, "Artzaiak" translates to "shepherd" in Basque. The Ulibarris raise sheep and produce cheese on their property in the Bizkaiko D.O, where they also farm 2 hectares of certified organic hondarrabi zuri grapes in their backyard, about 15km away from the Cantabrian Sea. Their soil is a mix of clay, sand, slate and schist.
The sheep graze the vineyard and compost the soil, giving the whole operation a very "circle of life" feeling. The brothers say that their sheep add more to the vineyard than they do.
In the cellar, an extension of their stone home, they’re not making the type of Txakoli most people are accustomed to. Both wines are aged on the lees with almost daily stirring. The 'Ulibarri' is fermented in stainless steel and the 'Artzaiak' in French oak barrels. Both are still wines, bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal SO2 added. The wines are unique and surprising while remaining drinkable and refreshing with the acidity that is characteristic of Txakolí. Ulibarri is the only certified organic vineyard in the Bizkaiko Txakolina appellation.