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.
Ontañon have 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 have seen fit to invest heavily in the purchase of their own land and vines. Their 250ha is a testament to the importance they place on controlling grape quality.
Their vineyards sit high in the Sierra Yerga mountains in the prestigious region surrounding Quel - and defy misconceptions that Rioja Baja is one of the lesser sub-regions within Rioja. Much 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 – this has enabled them to pursue organic production across 57 hectares.
The motto of Bodegas Ontañón is: A passion for the vine, a passion for wine, a passion for art. Their Winery-Museum in Logroño was the first one in Rioja to open to visitors in 1997. The wines age gracefully in the cool shadows of the barrels room and bottles room. 5000 French and American oak barrels are watched over by the sculpture of “Oinopion and Pholos” created by Miguel Angel Sainz whose artwork is permanently displayed in the winery-museum.