Bodegas Vina Magana

Juan Magaña founded Bodegas Viña Magaña in 1970, owns 247 acres of old vine French varietals in the town of Barillas, south of Navarra next to the Ebro river. His first vintage was 1976.

The vineyards are located in the town of Barillas, which is one of the warmest sub-regions of Navarra. Its latitude is very similar to that of Rioja Baja.

Topsoil is made of gravel, clay and limestone, and its subsoil is mostly composed of gravel.

Sometimes you just have to break the rules. Take Juan Magaña, for example. 30 years ago, he had a vision. After researching the best wines in the world, he decided that he wanted to grow Bordeaux in the Navarra region of Spain. He found a nursery that sold to St. Emilion and Pomerol, and most notably the auspicious Chateau Petrus. The nursery owner even hailed originally from Spain, and knew what climate and soil there would grow his vines best. So what was the problem? The Spanish government did not permit the planting of Bordeaux grapes in Navarra! The D.O. (Instituto Nacional de Denominaciones de Origen) mandated what it deemed the best grapes for each area, and vineyards were forced to comply. Magaña’s most significant find, clone #181 class A Merlot, was not included in the government’s choices. So he had to sneak the vines in. He smuggled them over the Pyrenees Mountains, managed to get them into Navarra without incident, and named the first plot after the nursery owner in France. Thus was created the first vineyard of Merlot in España. It took him seven years to plant the vines while enjoying the romantic experience of his dream coming to life.

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