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Spain’s La Rioja region is one which has helped define the country’s wine industry as a whole. The powerful and complex, aged and blended red wines to come out of this beautiful and verdant part of the north of Spain have helped cement this country as one of the leading wine producers in the world, and it is a region where tradition has always stood side by side with innovation and an ongoing search for excellence in balance and flavor. High in the Rioja region, we find the winery Bodegas Muga, a traditional Spanish winery housed in a historic stone building which takes the traditions of the area very seriously and produces quintessential Rioja wines for a global audience.
Bodegas Muga was founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martinez, the son and grandson of traditional vintners who knew more or less everything there was to know about the powerful and expressive Tempranillo grapes which grew on their estate. Muga Martinez’s vision was to continue the practices of his forefathers, and establish a Rioja winery which could keep up with a changing world, while doing justice to the reputation the region had built over the generations.
Upon his death in the 1960s, the winery and its vineyards were handed down to his three children, Manuel, Isabel and Isaac, who proudly took over from their father, and continue to run the winery to this day with the help of their extended family. Even though they have grown considerably and moved location (to the town of Haro) since then, Muga is still run essentially as a family winery, using traditional and time-honored techniques which yield the best results. One such technique is connected to the fact that Bodegas Muga is one of only six wineries in the world to own its own cooperage, as barrels are made on site from the finest American Oak, which they believe is part of the secret of their success. This single-mindedness and micromanaging control is pretty representative of the winery as a whole - Bodegas Muga is a single estate winery, where the vintners can oversee every step of the winemaking process, ensuring that quality is kept as high as possible, and every red wine is worthy of their name and the name of the region they revere.