MacRobert & Canals

La Rioja, Spain

MacRobert & Canals is a remarkable family-owned winery that seamlessly combines the expertise of Bryan MacRobert, a renowned South African oenologist, with the Canals family’s four decades of residence in Rioja. With a profound commitment to the environment, their mission is to craft exceptional wines that reflect the diverse soils, vineyards, and climates of the esteemed D.O.Ca. Rioja.

Rooted in three generations, MacRobert & Canals showcases a unique blend of talents and passion. Fernando Canals and Concha Sotillo form the first generation, with Fernando adeptly handling legal matters while Concha embodies the nurturing essence of a true “mamma,” providing care and preparing lunch boxes during the grape harvest—a cherished tradition. The second generation encompasses Bryan, the visionary oenologist and viticulturist, and Clara, an accomplished oenologist whose discerning palate lends invaluable expertise. Completing the family is the dynamic duo of Fernando and Maria, with Maria’s artistic flair as a graphic designer and Fernando’s proficiency as a tax advisor.

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At the heart of MacRobert & Canals lies the relentless pursuit of exceptional vineyards that can encapsulate the essence of Rioja. Each visit and exploration brings forth a deeper understanding of the region’s richness—a tapestry woven by diverse lands, climates, vines, and landscapes—all of which contribute to the unparalleled character of Rioja’s wines. The selection process led them to discover five extraordinary vineyards, each chosen for its unique attributes and potential.

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Central to their philosophy is a profound respect for the land they inherit from their ancestors. Their commitment as stewards of the earth drives them to leave their fields and vineyards in better condition than they found them. Through sustainable agricultural practices, they minimize their environmental impact, ensuring the optimal cultivation of grapes, the lifeblood of their wines. Many of their vineyards, over 70 years old, were established in challenging locations—steep slopes with shallow soils that were deemed unsuitable for other crops. Today, less than 3% of the designated Rioja region retains vineyards of this age and character.

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Preserving the traditions of their ancestors, MacRobert & Canals meticulously tend to their vineyards by hand, with the assistance of draught animals and a small crawler tractor designed to navigate the narrow rows amidst the undulating terrain. This traditional approach not only maintains the historical density of plantations but also allows them to work without herbicides, promoting healthier soils and biodiversity. By minimizing soil compaction, employing plant cover, and working in harmony with the natural contours, erosion is significantly reduced while organic matter in the soil is replenished, rejuvenating the delicate balance of life within.

MacRobert & Canals embodies the essence of Rioja—honoring tradition, preserving diversity, and crafting wines that bear testament to the land they call home. With their unwavering commitment to sustainable practices and the pursuit of excellence, MacRobert & Canals continues to elevate the legacy of Rioja, one bottle at a time.

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MacRobert & Canals' Wines

  • La Nave

    Grenache - Tempranillo - Mazuelo

  • Laventura Malvasia

    Malvasia

  • Paraje de la Virgen

    Tempranillo - Grenache - Graciano - Mazuelo - Viur

  • Cuatro Corros

    Garnacha - Tempranillo - Mazuelo - Graciano - Viura - Malvasia - Garnacha Blanca

  • Barranco Del San Gines

    Grenache - Tempranillo - Graciano - Viura - Mazuelo

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