A real rarity to find in the UK. Doniene was formed by 3 friends who rescued and modernized an ancient winery that was a bit dilapidated. They are located in Txakoli Bizkaiko, based in the north-western part of the Basque country, where this winery is situated right next to the sea.
This is odd, there is no two ways about it, but we think in a good way. Medium bodied, with a bit of spice, herbal notes and loads of crisp forest fruit. The finish is refreshing, with good acidity and soft tannins. Like its white counterparts, this makes really good summer drinking, but is also really food friendly. Very tasty indeed.
Situated in the coastal town of Bakio, there has been a winery on the site of Doniene Gorrondona since 1852. These days it is owned and run by four trained enologists, started by Itziar Insausti who arrived in 1994 from San Sebastian due to a Basque Government program to recover Txakoli in Bakio.
Having fallen in love with the area and its rich history, the very old vines, the different soils and plots to develop, she and her partner Julen Frias began the winery. In 1996 viticulturalist Andoni Sarratea became involved and the friends began planting vineyards and bought the building for the winery. In 2000, Itziar’s brother Egoitz also joined them in their dedication to producing authentic wines from their local varieties. The vineyards form a natural amphitheatre looking out on to the Bay of Biscay yet are protected from the worst of the weather by the Western arm of the bay. Vines are farmed without herbicide or pesticide; yields are far lower than the regional regulations stipulate, and all wines are fermented using native yeasts from a ‘pied de cuve’.
The results are a benchmark of quality for Txakoli wines with distinct character of salinity as well as the typical acidity from this region. Itziar continues to push the qualitative boundaries with her new bottling ‘IRI’, a single vineyard, sulphite free wine from the hills between Bakio and Bilbao