Muga stands proudly in Haro’s mythical Barrio de la Estación among some of the oldest wine ventures in Rioja. Despite being less than 100 years old (it was established in 1932 and moved to its current location in 1970), it clearly stands out thanks to the strength of its brand and its good performance in over 70 markets. Muga owns 250 hectares of vineyards and produces around a million and a half bottles of very high quality wines annually.
It is a family owned winery, and the large and very energetic third generation has brilliantly picked up the baton from brothers Manuel (his sons Manu, Juan and Eduardo are in charge of management, sales and marketing) and Isacín (Jorge and Isaac look after viticulture and winemaking). They led the modernization of the winery during the last few (and very delicate) decades of transformation in Rioja and released reds with a contemporary profile such as Torre Muga (€54) and Aro (€150). The classical range includes Muga Crianza (€13) and Reserva (€24) and Prado Enea Gran Reserva (€38), which is made from high altitude vines close to the boundaries of vine cultivation in the western end of Rioja. (Indeed, "muga" means "border" in Basque).
Lately, oenologist Jorge Muga has been working hard with grapes other than Tempranillo. The presence, at around 20-30%, of Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo in the blends, provides a distinctive complexity to Muga’s reds. The barrel-fermented white (€9), made from Viura with a touch of Malvasía, is also interesting.
Winemaking is extremely classical and even legendary in the sense that the whole process (malolactic fermentation and aging) is performed in oak, while egg whites are still used for clarification. Muga is one of the few wineries in Rioja that has its own cooperage, which makes it worth a visit. Moreover, its award-winning wine tourism offer is particularly attractive: tastings, visits to vineyards and facilities, and the exclusive hot-air balloon trip over the region followed by a mid-morning snack among the vines. Check details and book activities here.