Bodegas Navajas started life as Bodegas Ariona, which was founded in 1918 outside the small town of Navarrete in La Rioja Alta. In 1983, after five years of investing both financial and managerial support in the company, the Navajas family became majority shareholders, and changed the name to reflect the true occupant of the driving seat. Antonia Navajas Senior built the first Navajas bodega at that time, now supplanted by a state-of-the-art facility introduced by his son Antonio Jr., now in charge. Here, the wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks before ageing in new oak barrels.
Navajas get their hands on some of the finest fruit from Rioja’s best vineyards. They used to sell on the fruit to the big names including CVNE but now, wisely, have decided to keep it for themselves. Unsurprisingly the Rioja made here is quintessential – soft, round and oaky. The approachability of Antonio’s wines, which combine trademark fresh fruit and clean oak characters, is what makes them so popular with members. All the wines are 80-85% tempranillo with garnacha and mazuelo (aka carignan) making up the balance.