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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
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
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