The first written records show that in the ninth century was already common in Alava to produce this type of wine called Txakoli. The farmers where particularly in Amurrio, Llodio and Ayala.
In the XIII, XIV and XV century we could find everywhere in Aiaraldea geography grapes vineyards. The first time that "chacoli" word was found in Respaldiza, the 1st of November of 1623.
At that time it was a highly profitable product for the economy of the city and at the end of the nineteenth century, we can see there were 965 vines in production areas in the valley of Llodio.
In 1877, three big plagues ravaged the countryside and reduced the vineyard throughout the Basque Country, which in Aiaraldea made almost the production of txakoli disappeared.
Since 1989 began a time where farmers had to replant all their vineyards.
Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of Aiaraldea txakoli farmers, the quality and production are increasing significantly.
The historical data have been verified in” The Txakoli in Alava” Book. The authors of this book are Juanjo Hidalgo and Jose Miguel Llano 2007 in collaboration with D. Salvador Velilla Cordoba, Amurrio 2003.
According to Doctor Juan Uruñuela, the meaning of “Txakoli”, as it is known nowadays, is “country house wine” or “wine made in a country house”. This meaning has its roots in the Basque word “etxakoa” (made at home), then evolving to “etxakon”, which means neighbour of the house, until reaching to “txakon”, and finally “txacolin” or “chacolin”.
Sometimes, this wine was just taken with whatever had been improvised as that day's menu, usually fried hake fillets, bacalao al pil-pil —a typical Basque dish made with cod—, sardines in sauce and, less frequently, a good lamb stew or other giblets.
The country house Kurtze de Gardea, in Laudio, was one of the most popular chacolinerias —Txakoli houses— in the area, especially for being a centre of gatherings and bolos —a game similar to bowling, and a place were many famous people met too, such as the popular musician Ruperto Urquijo.
The recent discovery of several underground Txakoli wineries below some of the buildings in the historical quarter of Artziniega is worth mentioning. They are currently the only ones existing in the entire Basque Txakoli territory. Specifically, we are referring to two Baroque style palaces located in Barrenkale street, both from the 17th century, and another house in Goienkale street, rebuilt in the 70's though preserving its underground winery.