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Bodegas Muga: A Rioja wine gem in Haro

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A beautiful morning at the end of October in Haro was a perfect time to visit Bodegas Muga. We had come to Bodegas Muga in Spain’s Rioja wine region to learn about their wines, which the bodega describes as “born from INSPRATION and AUTHENTICITY”. Bodegas Muga founded in 1932 by Issac Muga Martinez is located in the historic Railway Station Quarter of Haro. The bodega prides itself in always using the finest materials and where appropriate new technology.

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The main grape variety used in the production of Bodegas Muga wines is Tempranillo. Tempranillo is also the main red grape variety of the Rioja Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.C.). D.O. status was granted to Rioja in 1970, with the prestigious D.O.C. status approved in 1991. Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to achieve Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) status. It is not surprising that Rioja, Spain's top red wine region, was listed as one of top ten places to visit in 2013 by Wine Enthusiasts. The Rioja grape varieties used in wines from Rioja D.O.C. include the red grapes varieties - Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciono, Mazuelo and Maturana Tinta; white grapes - Viura, Malvasia, Grancha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. As noted earlier the main red grape is Tempranillo, with the main white grape being Viura.

Touring Bodegas Muga

We did a tour of the winery where we were able to see the wine making process, from the delivery of the grapes to the aging process. We also viewed the barrel making area. Bodegas Muga is the only cellar in Spain with a master cooper and three in-house-barrel-makers. At the end of our tour of Bodegas Muga we tasted four of their red wines:

  1. Muga Crianza 2009 (Exported as Reserva) with 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo and Graciano
  2. Muga Selección Especial Reserva 2006 with 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo and Graciano
  3. Muga Prado Enea 2005 with 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha
  4. Torre Muga 2009 with 75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano

Yes, we tasted some fine wines at Bodegas Muga. I would like to thank a wine blogger friend who recommended this winery. You can read reviews of some of Bodegas Muga’s wines at K & L Wines, Red Wine Lovers, Snooth and Wine-Searcher. You will also find winery reviews at Tripadvisor and Yelp.

The La Rioja wine region of Spain offers many unique wine country experiences. The end October 2013 was indeed the perfect time to visit Bodegas Muga. Fortunately, Spaswinefood was also able to catch a glimpse of some of the processing of Bodegas Muga’s harvest. I invite you to join me in my travels in Spain and elsewhere in search of the best in Spaswinefood. You may also visit my travel column at the Examiner.

© Sharon Parsons

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