The Story

Bodegas Moraza has been in the Moraza family for six generations, but it was when Janire Moraza convinced her father and uncle to convert their 18 hectares of land to organic farming techniques that things got truly interesting.

Today, the varietal wines produced by Janire and Patricio come from vines located amid thriving biodiversity in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Rioja Alta.

Unlike many modern Riojas, tailored to an international market, Bodegas Moraza uses purely traditional methods, resulting in fresh, oak less and authentic characteristics. Rather than mix grapes from different estates to produce the familiar taste of conventional Rioja, the wines are the result of the complexity of the terroir. The local Rioja vines are highly sensitive to their environment, affected by factors such as climate, altitude, local biodiversity and levels of sunlight. This means that the delicate balance between these factors can lead to different expressions in the wines themselves.

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The People

Janire & Patricio

Janire Moraza is the 6th generation of her family to work this estate, which has been worked traditionally, without the use of modern chemicals. Her partner, Patricio Brongo, was making craft cider in Quebec when they met. This young and dynamic couple are making Rioja accessible to a younger generation of drinkers looking for fresher, lighter styles of wine.

Watch Janire Moraza’s interview with 67 Pall Mall.

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The Place

Spain, Rioja

The land sits at the foot of the Cantabria and Toloño mountain ranges, at 450 to 650 metres above sea level, in northcentral Spain. It has a microclimate of either warm winter air or dry summer heat, due to the influence of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Cantabrian seas. The lively soil is dominated by calcareous clay, and free from damaging artificial herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers. Of the 13 parcels, 11 are in San Vicente de la Sonsierra itself and two in Abalos.

The concrete winery was built in 1983, and it is here that wines are fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in concrete tanks. It is left unfiltered, and bottling takes place using gravity rather than pumping.

The wines of Bodegas Moraza are a must-try if you want to experience a truly original Rioja in the traditional, natural style.