Contino, the first château in Rioja, was founded in 1973 by the century-old CVNE winery and the owners of the 62-hectare estate in Rioja Alavesa. The history of the property, which dates to the 16th century, is reflected in the winery’s name. The officer in charge of the one hundred soldiers who looked after the royal family continuously (or “de contino“), from the Catholic Monarchs era onwards, was known as the “contino”. Its rich history also tells how Saint Gregory (the patron saint of vineyards) once passed through this Riojan estate, which is why his figure appears on the winery’s logo, and some of the vineyard plots on the estate bear his name.
The fruity and elegant wines produced on this estate reflects the finest winemaking traditions in La Rioja. The wines are produced through an individualised harvesting process using grapes exclusively grown in the vineyards surrounding the old manor house that define their provenance. The perfect combination of soils, Atlantic-Mediterranean climate and refined technique have made Contino a point of reference in Spain and abroad more than thirty years after the first vintage.
Our modern winemaking facilities feature a manual selection table and small-capacity tanks specially designed for different plots and grape varieties. The grapes are harvested and selected individually and processed at the winery in different ways depending on their characteristics.
The winery uses individualised harvesting systems to ensure that the grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripeness. After a short journey, the grapes are processed immediately to preserve their natural qualities.
We use small-volume fermentation tanks designed to hold the production of a single plot, making it possible to process each wine according to the characteristics of the grapes.
The winery is equipped with stainless steel tanks, six concrete tanks and four French oak vats, which are loaded by gravity directly from the manual grape selection table.
Our 16th-century cellars ensure that the wines are kept for aging under optimum conditions with constant temperature and humidity.
Besides its extensive expertise, passion for viticulture and dedication to traditional winemaking methods, the Contino team also strives to reflect the microclimate of the Finca San Rafael estate in its wines.
Led by winemaker Jorge Navascués and Irene Bonilla in the field, our young and dynamic team aim to ensure that the terroir and unique character of each vineyard come through in every Contino wine.