Murua Winery, part of Masaveu Family Wineries, is firmly committed to the conversion of vineyards to organic, in line with their sustainable philosophy. This Rioja Alavesa winery has been working with this type of cultivation since 2015 and currently has 41 hectares of vineyards registered as organic. This represents just over 50% of its total wine-growing area and expects to reach 100% by 2026.
Each year, Murua Winery progressively converts different parts of their vineyards to this production system. This leap towards organic production is in line with the sustainable philosophy which defines the entire winery group, which is committed to organic viticulture. Their practices have been modified to sustainable systems which not only preserve soil quality through the use of non-chemical phytosanitary products, but which also develop biodiversity, favour better water management, preserve air quality, facilitate better energy management, in addition to mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change.
In total, Murua Winery owns 80 hectares of vineyards, distributed over 51 plots in Elciego and nearby towns such as Laguardia, Villabuena de Álava, Lanciego, Leza or Navaridas. 44 of these hectares are divided into very small plots, the smallest being 0.2 hectares and the largest 3.35 hectares. Once at the winery, the multiplicity of surfaces leads to the complex oenological task of tasting and treating each area separately, continuously monitoring the evolution of the vines and grapes in the vineyards, together with specific control or care for each plot and each variety. Some of the centenary plots with a very narrow planting frame are currently tilled by horse, due to the impossibility of carrying out these tasks mechanically, as these plots are practically inaccessible.
Mindful of the investment and time involved in certain manual practices, Murua is committed to offering and ensuring the highest quality in their products through meticulous precision in their work.
Permaculture: vegetation cover and natural pest control
In this context of sustainability, Murua Winery chooses to maintain a partial or permanent vegetation cover, favouring biological activity in the soil and its natural balance, avoiding all types of herbicides which destroy and alter soil and subsoil ecosystems, and in turn contaminate groundwater.
The winery seeks to align their work with “permaculture”, a method based on the observation of the patterns and characteristics of the natural ecosystem in order to apply and adapt it to the cultivation of vines, protecting the environment and responding to the different difficulties arising from climate change.
Furthermore, Murua implements natural pest and disease control; a system of biological balance based on the protection and support of breeding beneficial species, favouring the crops themselves and helping to improve not only the vineyard ecosystem and winery surroundings, but also enhancing the aesthetics of the landscape. Biodiversity is favoured by reducing the pressure of pests and parasites naturally, fostering the presence of auxiliary insects, maintaining productive capacity, limiting fungal diseases and enhancing the longevity of crops and of their excellent raw material.
All these measures allow the winery to ensure in-depth daily care of their own vineyards and a profound commitment to sustainability, while still respecting the natural course of the vineyard.
Using new technologies
Murua Winery relies on the support of new technologies to have exhaustive vineyard control and accurate forecasting – all part of their ongoing pursuit for production efficiency and improved vineyard health control, elaborating products with fewer resources that are committed to quality while still preserving the environment.
Thanks to the three weather stations at different plots, the winery can take decisions quickly and accurately, anticipating possible future adverse weather conditions. In addition, the optical vision selection table allows the best quality grapes to be selected homogeneously and accurately; the use of drones makes it easier to obtain more detailed information about the vines, such as plant and vegetation cover vigour or grape yield; and remote humidity and temperature control inside the winery ensures optimum conditions for the production of these wines.
Over the last few years, Murua has succeeded in using all these techniques to produce wines that express the essence of the terroir and transmit its personality.
About Murua Winery
Murua Winery, belonging to Masaveu Family Wineries, is located in the beautiful village of Elciego, in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. In a setting of breath-taking landscapes, the noble main building is in keeping with the structure of the typical ancestral homes of this area of La Rioja Alavesa.
The winery has belonged to the Masaveu family since 1974, when it was acquired to produce wine privately until, years later, they decided to remodel it and promote it commercially with a strong commitment to quality.
Murua currently produces 220,000 bottles elaborated with the ecological philosophy and respect for the land that defines the winemaking group, which is present in different Denominations of Origin in the country: Murua (QDO Rioja), Fillaboa (DO Rias Baixas), Pagos de Araiz (DO Navarra), Leda (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León) and the Valverán Ice Cider (Asturias).