From a wine perspective Bilbao on the coast of the Basque Country in northern Spain is often just the starting point. There is an international airport. You visit the museum (the Guggenheim). And then you go to Rioja. That can be a mistake. That is a mistake. The city itself is fabulous and worth a visit. And around the city the Basques also make wine, in very little-known wine region called Txakoli (Bizkaiko Txakolina).
I had the occasion recently to visit one of the wineries there, Itsasmendi, together with Mariella Beukers, the person behind Wijnkronieken.nl. We were both very impressed by the wines and wish they were more readily available outside the Basque countries.
Here is the story that Mariella wrote on our visit at Bodegas Itsasmendi, illustrated by my photographs: Brief Encounters in Bizkaia: a Visit to Bodegas Itsasmendi.