Contino, a single-vineyard estate winery in the heart of Rioja Alta and part of the CVNE group that also includes Viña Real, is undergoing a winemaker change. The 62-acre property, located just outside the hilltop village of Laguardia, is bidding adios to longtime winemaker Jesús de Madrazo; taking his place is Jorge Navascués, who has winemaking experience in nearby regions including Cariñena, Calatayud, Navarra and Somontano.
Madrazo and Navascués will work together on the frost-plagued 2017 vintage, after which Madrazo will leave Contino to work with his wife on a small family wine project.
In announcing the change, Victor Urrutia, CEO of CVNE, noted that Navascués has 19 years of winemaking experience and grew up in a winemaking family. “We are excited about Jorge joining our team. He … brings with him a wealth of experience” to Contino, which was founded in 1973.
In an email explaining the change, Urrutia said that he sought a new winemaker who is “experienced but young, driven and enthusiastic. Someone with respect for previous work and for the past, but with a clear desire to do new things. Also, someone with experience outside of Rioja,” which he suggested would help “avoid bias and bring a fresh, objective perspective to how we are working at Contino.”
Recently, Contino has released a number of wines rated in the “excellent” category by Wine Enthusiast, including the 2010 Reserva (92 points; $48), the 2011 Graciano (90 points; $140) and the 2011 Garnacha (90 points; $50). Contino is imported into the United States by Europvin USA.