Miguel Merino had always dreamt of owning his own small “bodega”, or winery, where he could make a few bottles of wine of the best quality possible and after working for several years as a wine exporter he finally decided to start his own winery in the town of Briones, located within the heart of the Rioja Alta. A town with old Tempranillo vineyards, chalky soil and a climate with a marked Atlantic influence, Briones offered all Miguel Merino could hope for and as it was a town of historic and artistic merit, Briones is where he decided to build his new winery some 20 years ago.
Today Bodegas Miguel Merino is not only one of the smallest and youngest wineries in Spain (their first vintage was in 1994), but they also produce some of the most prestigious wines in the country that are exported to over 30 different countries. Their initial success has encouraged them to grow, not in quantity but in quality, and to constantly improve their winemaking style.
All the grapes used to make Miguel Merino’s wines come from very old, head-pruned vines that were planted between 40-80 years ago and their vineyards are located on South/South-west facing slopes with low-yielding clay and calcareous soils, at an altitude of 550 meters. While the majority of their wines are made with the Tempranillo grape variety, they also have planted a bit of Graciano, which is known as very hard-to-grow grape variety that is a great companion to Tempranillo due its tannin structure and vivacity.
All of Miguel Merino’s grape clusters are picked by hand and selected again on a sorting table in order to insure that only the very best grapes are used for vinification. From their detailed vineyard management and careful grape selection, to their expert winemaking and watchful aging processes, Miguel Merino makes sure that his wines are tenderly taken care of from start to finish.
On a tour of Miguel Merino’s winery you will not only get to visit one of the smallest and best wineries in Spain, but you will also get to learn about the secrets of Mr. Merino’s success from the man himself while tasting his award-winning wines and touring his charming cellar – a personalized and VIP tour as it should be!