Get to know our history step at a time | CVNE


Many vintages, countless experiences, and a blend of happy and difficult times have made Cune a classic, not just in La Rioja but throughout the country.David Seijas

Read a step-by-step account of our story, a family history that began in 1879.


Company history

CVNE, Compañía Vinícola del Norte del España (the Northern Spanish Wine Company), was founded in 1879 in the town of Haro in Rioja. CVNE was founded by two brothers and today is still controlled by the direct descendants of the founding family. Since its inception, CVNE has been focused on the production and aging of wines and now comprises of four wineries: CVNE, Imperial, Vina Real and Contino.


International awards (I)

With only 6 years of life the first international awards start coming:

1885 Silver and Bronze Medals – Antwerp Expo.
1888 Gold Medal – Barcelona International Exposition.
1889 Gold Medal – International Exhibition Paris.
1890 Gold Medal – International Exhibition Antwerp.


Eiffel´s cellar

The famous French architect, Aleixandre Gustave Eiffel, designed this cellar. Truly revolutionary, this imposing structure provided an innovative formula to support its construction. Without columns, the roof is supported by steel trusses, running from wall to wall allowing for a large open space that significantly improved the management of barrels in the cellar, to make racking, maintenance, and monitoring of the wine barrels easier.


Universal exhibition in Antwerp

At the Universal Exhibition held in Antwerp in 1894 CVNE won the Grand Prize.


Universal exhibition in Bordeaux

Thanks to previous awards received CVNE was part of the jury of the Universal Exhibition in Bordeaux.


International awards (II)

CVNE won the top prizes in both exhibitions:

1897 Gold Medal – International Exhibition Brussels.
1900 Grand Prix – Paris International Exhibition.


Monopole is born

It is the oldest white wine brand of Spain. Since its introduction it has become a fresh White Rioja classic.


First Viña Real and Imperial is born

The first Viña Real wines were launched. These wines have a modern structure, balance and elegance, with a potential for very long bottle aging. This being the main characteristic of wines from the Rioja Alavesa province.

Imperial is one of the great wines of Spain. Its name comes from a special bottling for the English market, in a measure called “Pinta Imperial” or “Imperial Pint”.


Inaguration of El Carmen

The inauguration of “El Carmen” to become the first winemaking facility making use of epoxy lined concrete.


Viñedos del Contino is born

Vinedos del Contino was created by CVNE and the family owners of Contino, as the first single vineyard established in Rioja.


CVNE 100 anniversary

To celebrate CVNE’s 100th anniversary, the famous chef Paul Bocuse created a superb meal with his young helper Juan Maria Arzak at the winery’s “Garden House”.


Inaguration of “El Pilar”

This winemaking facility was inaugurated and baptized with the name “El Pilar.” CVNE was the first winery to use gravity in the fermentation process. Today the gravity flow concept is still being used at the CVNE, Imperial and Viña Real wineries.


Real de Asúa is born

A new modern style wine was created, Real de Asúa. This wine was created as a tribute to the founders of the winery, the Real de Asúa brothers. It is produced from grapes grown in CVNE’s Villalba vineyards (Rioja Alta).


New winery Viña Real

His majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, inaugurated the Viña Real winery, probably the most advanced winery in Spain.


New winery Real de Asúa

The Real de Asúa winery is built as an independent winery within the walls of the original historic CVNE winery site. Once the grapes are selected from the table and chilled in a refrigeration room, the fruit is then fermented in French oak barrels as well as small glass linedconcrete tanks.


High density wines plantation

CVNE initiates a radical experiment; it doubles the amount of vines per hectare while reducing the yield per vine with the objective of increasing the quality of the wine.


Eiffel cellar reform

To commemorate the restoration of the Eiffel cellar, CVNE hired photographer Joseph Manuel Ballestar, winner of the 2010 National Photography Prize, to create a photographic record of the building’s unique technical and aesthetic qualities.


Imperial Gran Reserva #1 Top 100 Wine Spectator and Cune Crianza obtained the double environmental footprint

Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator in its top 100 Wines in 2013. It’s the first and only spanish wine recognized as the number #1 worldwide.

To measure the actual impact of CO2 and water consumption when producing wine, the winery has calculated the carbon footprint and the water footprint of its Cune Crianza. CVNE is the first winery in Spain to be recognized with a double environmental footprint.


Eduardo Chillida Exhibition at CVNE and CVNE acquires Mikuni Wines

The CVNE winery features an exhibition, “El Viento que no Vemos” by Eduardo Chillida housed inside one of its century-old buildings. CVNE supports the art.

CVNE inside his philosophy of expansion comes into Japan through the acquisition of the distributor Mikuni Wines.


Monopole celebrates its first 100 years, Cristina Iglesias exhibition at CVNE and Spanish Wine Producer of the Year

The oldest white wine in Spain celebrates its first 100 years.

CVNE continues to promote the arts with its second sculpture exhibition, “Pozos” by Cristina Iglesias.

CVNE is awarded as Spanish Wine Producer of the year by IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition).



Anthony Caro exhibition at CVNE

Anthony Caro (1924 -2013) is one of the most important British sculptors of the 20th Century.
The selection comprises a total of 23 sculptures by Caro, twelve of which are on display indoors, with the remainder at various locations around the buildings and gardens of the winery.

In the music of his sculpture Caro convokes and evokes. Concepts and images converge and intertwine in their own identity. Caro’s visual experience is always accumulative, capable of fermenting like good wine and emerging when its presence is required.


Roger Goulart joins CVNE Family

Founded back in 1882, Roger Goulart is pioneer in the traditional way of making sparkling wine in Spain. Cava productor by excellence and specialists in Gran Reservas.


CVNE acquires Virgen del Galir

Virgen del Galir was founded in 2002 in the village of Entoma, Orense (Galicia), within the D.O. Valdeorras. This almost forgotten region has extraordinary vineyards and now is part of CVNE.


CVNE 140th Anniversary and Bela is born

In 1879, Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asúa set the goal of making the best wines of Spain and make their country shine all over the world. It is amazing to think about how far spanish wines have come since then, and we can all be proud of the role CVNE played in that revolution. We have accomplished a lot together but what matters most now is what we do next.

Bela is born as CVNE brings the Riojan elegance to Ribera del Duero. Bela’s label is a facsimile of an old CVNE label from 1910.The three stars represent each of the children – Sofia, Áurea, and Ramón – of CVNE’s co-founder, Eusebio Real de Asúa. Sofia was in fact known as Bela and fifth generation of the same family descends from her.


100 years of Imperial

Imperial is one of the great names in Spanish winemaking. A true Rioja Classic, it was first produced in 1920´s.


Its only produced in vintages that the company classified as Excellent.