Constant innovation has always been at the heart of the success seen at Bodegas Luis Cañas. Firmly a modern winery, heads were first turned when the pioneering couple in charge of the property, Luis and Angeles Cañas shunned bulk sales and became one of the first small grower estates to bottle their own wine at the bodega. Fast forward from there and one will now find a high-spec, high-tech winery boasting the latest winemaking equipment including the trailblazing Mistral sorting machine. This was the first of its kind to be installed in Spain’s premier red wine region. Today, the couple’s son Juan Luis heads the estate, which is situated in Vallebuena and comprises some 350 ha of vineyards dedicated to traditional varieties such as viura for white wine and tempranillo, mazuelo and graciano for reds. Strict viticultural controls are applied to the 870 plots spread across the vineyards with each planted with the grape variety for which it is best suited. Only hand harvesting is practised and Luis, now in his 80s, is often on hand to supervise the careful selection of fruit. Winemaking embraces modern day know-how with temperature control fermentation in stainless steel tanks but the Riojan tradition of ageing the wine in French and American oak barrels remains firmly entrenched.