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Bodegas Luis Cañas, Spain

In 1970 Luis Cañas changed two hundred years of tradition and became the first winemaker in Rioja Alavesa to bottle his young wine rather than sell it as bulk.

This bold move, and his continued pioneering spirit, has cemented the winery's enviable reputation as one of the most progressive in the region. Sheltered below the watchful Sierra Cantabria, the vineyards are all old, small plots on chalky-clay soils with a dedicated team of vineyard workers carrying out organic practices and a purpose built, fully equipped accommodation block was built for the entire vineyard team in 2006.

Viticulture

Juan Luis Cañas is now the powerhouse behind this highly accomplished winery, but everywhere you go there is a feeling of family, and especially of the lasting legacy that Luis Cañas has left for both his son and the Rioja Alavesa since his passing in December 2019. With 350 hectares of outstanding vineyards, split across 870 different plots, the viticultural department control every aspect. Each of the plots has its own personality and is categorised and used for different wines according to its characteristics.

Winemaking

All Bodegas Luis Cañas wines undergo a double selection process. Theg rape clusters are first sorted by hand and then checked a second time to ensure only the best are selected. Wines are aged in new French and American oak barrels from among the best cooperages in the world. The casks are renewed continuously with an average age of just three years.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Organic Principles used in vineyards as well as biodynamic methods.
  • Hand tended vines and hand harvesting.
  • Bespoke accommodation for their pickers to improve employee welfare.
Bodegas Luis Cañas is one of the top 10 Modern-Style Producers.
'Rioja's Third Way', Tim Atkin MW - Dec 2012
These wines were imbued with wonderful purity and sophistication, managing to tread that fine line between modernism and classicism and embracing the virtues from the two. Moreover, I found that these wines evoked a sense of place, something that not all Rioja wines do. These all comes highly recommended.
Wine Advocate, Neal Martin - Aug 2012
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