The best of both worlds

Decanter se hace eco del trabajo de Muriel en cuanto a clasificación por origen

Decanter reports on the work of Muriel in terms of origin classification

Did you know that the great historic wines of Rioja are the result of blends? In this prestigious wine-growing area in northern Spain where Muriel was born more than 95 years ago, blending grapes from different vineyards, soils and profiles was the norm. As a result of this combination, we obtain red wines that stand out for their extraordinary balance. This sense of harmony is the key to the longevity and consistency, to the extraordinarily liveliness of our wines and, of course, to their reputation and worldwide success for decades.

Decanter magazine covers all this and more in a special issue published at the end of 2021: ioja: the best of both worlds. With the evocative expression “two worlds”, the article describes the two main product concepts which coexist in Rioja and complement each other: the traditional ageing-based model, with the classic Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines; and on the other hand, the ancestral style, now back in the limelight, which emphasises the importance of the actual origin of the grapes, be it a specific vineyard, a village or a sub-area such as ours, Rioja Alavesa.

Bodegas Muriel, our group’s founding winery, is at present one of the region’s most representative companies when it comes to blending these two worlds. On the one hand, it continues to be a benchmark producer in wine ageing and, on the other, it is taking significant steps to identify and bottle specific vineyards. How can it manage to combine these two extremes? To sum it up in one word: Elciego.

Our village is deeply rooted in tradition and plays a prominent role in the modern history of Rioja wine. In Elciego we have successfully combined the family’s history with the winemaking expression of the place. The bodega’s two product ranges are firmly anchored to their origins.

Panorámica invernal desde la finca de El Gallo, en Elciego. Al fondo, la Sierra de la Demanda

Muriel champions the blend of different terroirs in Rioja Alavesa. The Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines combine ageing time and various factors relating to the origin of the grapes.

With Viña Muriel we are starting to see an interesting and promising take on the territorial classification pyramid, with three levels representing three specific origins: subzone, village and individual plots. In subsequent articles we will see how this is translated into specific wines, brands and labels.

Mapa Rioja
Interpretación ilustrada de las subsanas que forman la DOCa Rioja (Fuente:

Interpretación ilustrada de las subzonas que forman la DOCa Rioja (Fuente: / Artistic interpretation of the different subzones forming Rioja (source: