Contino

C.V.N.E (aka. Cune) was founded in 1879 by the Real de Asua brothers (Raimondo and Eusebio) of Bilbao. The company is still run by a descendant of the brothers. CVNE have three wineries based in distinct locations. As well as Cune in Haro, there are Contino and Viña Real from near Logroño to the east. Contino is a single-estate bodega of 150 acres based in a 200 year-old farmhouse in Laserna, between Logroño and Laguardia. The name comes from the royal guard of 100 soldiers who guarded the monarch, and the label features the bust of San Gregorio, the patron saint and protector of vineyards. Contino was set up to be a counter to the Rioja trend of buying/blending to build brands, with crisp acidy fruit from the cold soils in the North blended with more colourful ripe and alcoholic fruit from Southern Rioja. Prior to the establishment of Contino, the vineyards regularly provided the fruit for the legendary Gran Reservas of Viña Real. The idea was to create one of the first 'chateau' style or single estate wineries in Rioja. The farmhouse has cellars underground which date back to the 16th century. Contino's average age of vines is 35 years old, but some are more than 70. The vineyards sit on the valley floor behind the Viña Real winery atop the nearest hilltop towards Logroño. Primarily planted with Tempranillo (85%), Graciano comprises the bulk of the remaining plantings along with some Garnacha, Mazuelo and Viura. The estate sits tucked inside one of the bends of the Ebro River. There are alluvial stone and sand plots which drain freely and the underlying heavy clay and marl soils take care of water retention during the hot summers. All fruit is dry grown. The south-facing pebbly and very warm site is particularly well suited to ripening Graciano, ordinarily tending to greenness and very high acidity.

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