Bodegas Ontañón is a 5th generation family-owned and run winery in Rioja Baja (now Rioja Oriental). Here Raquel, Rubén and Maria Pérez Cuevas continue their father Gabriel’s work to develop Bodegas Ontañón into one of the most highly-regarded wineries in Rioja. Ontañón has vast swathes of vineyard in this part of Rioja. Whilst wine production in the region is typically very dependent on contracts with grape growers, the Pérez Cuevas family has seen fit to invest heavily in the purchase of its own land and vines. Its 250ha is a testament to the importance it places on controlling grape quality.
The family’s vineyards sit high in the Sierra Yerga mountains in the prestigious region surrounding Quel, defying misconceptions that Rioja Baja is one of the lesser sub-regions within Rioja. Many of their vineyards are actually planted at altitudes on a par with, or above, those in Rioja Alta and Alavesa; (La Pasada is their highest vineyard at 800m above sea level, planted in 1979 it is used for Reserva and Gran Reserva wines). The hot and dry Mediterranean climate allows for consistent ripening of the grapes with little disease and this has enabled them to pursue organic production across 57 hectares of vines.
Produced from 40 year old vines grown on the slopes of the Sierra Yergas, around Quel, just south of the River Ebro in Rioja Baja. Predominantly Tempranillo grown in the La Montesa vineyard, blended with Garnacha from Siete Caminos.
Following a long maceration period, the wine spends 12 months in 60% American and 40% French oak barrels (both used and new). This is followed by a further 12 months in bottle prior to release.