Ulibarri Bizkaiko Txakolina 2015

Ulibarri is their last name and Artzaiak means "the shepherds" in Basque. Before anything, these brothers consider themselves shepherds. As the name implies, they herd sheep. Those sheep make cheese. Not themselves but you know what I mean. Those sheep also graze the vineyard and compost the soil. You see where I'm going with this? It's a circle of life. Both the wine and cheese are a product of the sheep and therefore, "the wine is in the cheese and the cheese is in the wine". Their cellar is an extension of their stone home and their backyard is covered with 2 hectares of hondarrabi zuri grapes. The rest is green forests leading to the Cantabrian Sea about 15km away. Their soil is a mix of clay, sand, slate and schist. They're one of the few, if not the only, certified organic producers in the Bizkaiko D.O. Simply put, their sheep add more to the vineyard than they do. In the cellar, they're not making the type of Txakoli I think most people are accustomed to. Ulibarri is fermented in stainless steel and aged on the lees with almost daily stirring. Artzaiak is done the same way except barrel fermented in french oak. Both of which are still wines bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal SO2 added, making it hard to preserve the natural CO2 from fermentation as they require patience in the making.