Bodegas Ontanon is a 5th generation family-owned and run winery in Rioja Baja (now Rioja Oriental). Here Raquel, Ruben and Maria Perez Cuevas continue their father Gabriel's work to develop Bodegas Ontanon into one of the most highly-regarded wineries in Rioja. Ontanon 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 Perez 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.
The Tempranillo grapes are sourced from certified organic vineyards at altitudes of around 500m. Ontanon have 57ha of low-yielding organic vineyards and 300 barrels dedicated to organic wines.
There is a long maceration of the grapes (over 20 days) - fermentation at controlled temperatures. Ecologico spends five months in American and French oak barrels (new and 1-2 year old barrels).
Ripe plum and dark cherry fruit with a twist of spice and gentle tannins. A full-flavoured modern style of Rioja.
Perfect with roast chicken and pork, or grilled salmon.