Axpe Sagardotegia winery and cider mill

by admin on 09/10/2014

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The winery Axpe Sagardotegia is an enterprise run by the Axpe family, while the second name derives from sagardo, meaning apple cider in Basque. Besides, they are producing a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine called Bizkaiko Txakolina, meaning Txakoli of Biscay. In fact, this winery forms part of the Txakoli Winemakers´ Association (BIALTXA).

According to the Tzakoli producers of Biscay, growing vines in this area are aided by
– valleys and mountains stretching from northwest to southeast favour exposure to sunlight.
– cool summers due to the nearby Bay of Biscay lead to a slow ripening process.
– southern winds in autumn are ideal for ripening of the grapes.
– a variety of soils, generally not very deep, slightly acidic with a clay-loam texture on limestone and marlstone.
– a humid, warm Atlantic climate.

The harvest had already been done when we visited this winery in the beginning of October, but walking along the rows of vines, we could find a few bunches of grapes. Besides, differing from the vineyards of Rioja, the vines were supported by trellises and there was fresh grass between each row, while there was bare soil between the rows of vines in Rioja. Another difference was that the harvest was manual in Rioja, while this winery harvested the grapes mechanically. This could be verified by looking at the harvested grapes, which were accompanied by much more branches and leaves than in Rioja. Else, the must of both apples and grapes were being stored in huge steel tanks where fermentation takes place turning must into cider and wine.

Walking further, we could also walk among the many apple trees of this winery, and since lots of apples were still remaining, it was clear that at least 4 types of apple are being grown. A greenhouse with an abundant amount of vegetables was placed next to the apple orchard.

Axpe also has a hall where visitors are welcome to taste their products.

The owner of Axpe is a real actor, having participated in a lot of films, which can be watched here.

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