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Juan Carlos Sancha   


Our Wines: Please click here to view wines

Location and Climate:

Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha is located in Baños de Río Tobía (La Rioja) in the coolest zone of Rioja Alta, just within the limit of Rioja Appellation.

Their own vineyard is mainly located at an altitude of 565 (Tempranillo Blanco & Maturana Tinta) to 650 meters (old Garnacha) on hillsides facing to the south, in calcareous-clay soils, between hills and slopes which allow a suitable airing of the vines, ensuring a perfect health of the cluster, which decreases prevalence of vines diseases and therefore respectful to the environment. 

The climate has an Atlantic influence, with cold winters, warm summers and long and warm autumns. Large differences in day and night temperatures result in slow ripening of the fruit for optimum extraction of polyphenols and aroma development, giving their wines the characteristics of quality wine: body, colour, extraction, highlighting the elegance of its aromas.



They are a small family-run winery of about 5.5 hectares. Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha, S.L. was founded in 2008, and started commercialising their products in 2009. Their aim is to elaborate wines, through organic viticulture, from recovered varieties that disappeared from Rioja. They have a small estate with 17 parcels planted with 27 different varieties.

After a 5 year project of investigation “ Variedades de Vid Minoritarias en al D.O. Ca. Rioja” (Minor varieties of Rioja Wines), involving the study of the potential of growing and elaborating of these varieties, with the support of the University of La Rioja, Consejo Regulador Rioja D.O.Ca. and the CIDA (I + D) from the Rioja Government, Juan Carlos decided to start this new project making handcrafted wines reflecting the peculiar characteristics of Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Tinta and Garnacha varieties. 



Juan Carlos Sancha has been involved in world wine for more than 20 years. He has worked in several wineries in Rioja and teaches at the University of La Rioja. In 2008, he decided to start this little project. Concurrently, he continues working at the University of La Rioja and he also advises and assists a number of wineries around Spain.

This tiny project is based in Organic Viticulture, working in the vineyard and in the winery to produce wines which are as natural, true to the terroirs and healthy as possible. They have achieved this through the elimination of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers in the vineyard with the goal of restoring the vineyards to their natural complexity and ability to fight diseases, and also to promote the proper growth of the vine.

Their winemaking philosophy is based in a minimal intervention in all stages of the process. They try to preserve the purity and clearness of their carefully selected grapes. They belong to the family of “Garage Cellars” looking for personal, elegant and powerful wines.

Viticulture Information:

Our first wine made by “Tempranilo Blanco” variety. This variety comes from a natural mutation from a vine shoot of an only Tempranillo Red vine located in an old vineyard in Murillo de Rio Leza (La Rioja) in found in 1988. In January 2007 the Consejo Regulador of Rioja accepted this variety as an official grape from the Rioja D.O.Ca.

The “Tempranillo Blanco” grape reproduces asexually through the one unique sarmentum and multiplication. This allows for identical genes, much like a clone. In fact, the genetic similarity between the red and white variety is of 97.8%. Both grapes share identical leaves, clusters and grape form, as well as the short ripening cycles and sensitivity to pests and diseases. The early ripening cycles makes possible its cultivation in any subzone of the Denomination since the entire cycle can be completed even in the zones where ripening occurs later. The White Tempranillo has a medium yield (7,500 – 9,000 kilos per acre), medium to high vine vigour and high alcohol content. Although it has many clusters, they are small and of medium weight. “Ad Libitum Tempranillo Blanco” was the first varietal wine of this variety in the market. They elaborate the Tempranillo Blanco in stainless steel tanks, with temperature controlled fermentation and modern stabilization treatments.


“Maturana Tinta” is a variety of small clusters and grapes with a high acidity, which characterises the Maturana variety. The great tannic structure and deeply coloured fruit, however, means it has good potential for premium red wines. Maturana has a good resistance to vineyard diseases.

The “Garnacha” wines produced at Bodegas Juan Carlos Sancha are made using exclusively the grapes produced from the half hectare of 95 year old vines that belonged to their grandfather. This Garnacha is situated in “Peña El Gato” land cultivated on south facing slopes and terraces. They have a small production of 1,000 litres with a yield of 2,857 kg/ha.

The Bodega has thirty-one, 500 litre French oak barrels (Tronçais) for the red wine (Maturana Tinta & Garnacha) alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. The wines are also aged in oak for 11 months.


Juan Carlos Sancha family