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It is easy to obtain an average wine from fantastic vines, but it is impossible to create a great wine out of bad grapes, and that explains our obsession for finding the small, old vineyards that nobody else wanted to work. Some planted so long ago that were designed to be tilled by horses, no tractors then. Vineyards whose grapes have the fruit, structure and intensity required to produce a grand wine. Using traditional methods which are Nature friendly we take care of eight vineyards in our town, Briones:

 

 

Mendiguerra. Planted in 1931 on the top of a hill next to a small pine grove. Its soil is mainly calcareous and poor, where only a vine plant or an olive tree could grow. Besides a few plants of Garnacha and Viura in the corners, everything is Tempranillo.

 

La Loma. From 1946. As beautiful and perfect as hard to harvest. Planted on a steep slope of lime soils, its Tempranillo grapes are the most velvety we have got to know.

 

Mingortiz. Planted by our friend Santiago in 1971 in some deeper and richer soils. However, a good viticulture achieves small, loose bunches, key for a quality wine.

 

Choza Ibarra. Mingortiz’s small sister, also from 1971 but sited in poorer, stony land. Even in the driest, warmest years, thanks to its

deep roots all the vines keep their leaves and bring fresh Tempranillo grapes of rich acidity.

 

El Cantillo. This 1946 vineyard is planted on a small gorge, covered by stones, and it is our smallest and warmest plot. Each year we harvest a few kilos of extraordinary ripe grapes.

 

Caralacueva. Our friend Daniel is a great grower and friend. Each year he lends us his oldest vineyard, Caralacueva (1953), where we obtain some outstanding and vibrant Graciano grapes, the perfect complement to the Tempranillo for our Reservas.

 

El Rincón. Our youngest vineyard (1988), sited in an incredible plance, where the main threat for the vines are not the oidium nor mildiu fungus, but the deers that each Spring try to eat the first sprouts. Planted with Tempranillo and Graciano plants in deep, clay and limestone soils, El Rincón gives delicate grapes that form our wine Miguel Merino Viñas Jóvenes.

 

Mazuelo de la Quinta Cruz (1982). Mazuelo is a difficult grape, with a very long growth cycle which requires heat and time to ripe. That is why it is so unusual in Rioja Alta. However, when planted in the adequate soil and grown with care and patience it becomes a wonderful grape, able to give spicy, deep and unique wines of great colour and vibrant acidity.

VITICULTURE

Carretera de Logroño, 16. 26330 Briones. La Rioja / Teléfono: 941.322.263 / Fax: 941.322.294 / info@miguelmerino.com