CVNE remains one of the most reliable bodegas in Rioja, producing classy wines with very good ageing potential. Founded in 1879 in Haro by brothers Raimundo and Eusebio Real de Asúa, the Compañía del Vinícola del Norte España continues to remain in family ownership. The wines within the CVNE range include Viña Real, Contino and the CVNE bodega itself in Haro. There is a clear distinction between these three in terms of wine style.
For the CVNE wines, the grapes are grown in the Rioja Alta district, all picked by hand and include vineyards planted to the main Rioja red grapes (tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo and graciano). There is a vast array of wines bottled under the CVNE label but by far the most important in quality terms is the Imperial label which has become one of Rioja's most famous names since it was first produced in the 1920s. The Imperial Reserva tends to be a blend of around 80% tempranillo, 10% graciano and 10% mazuelo which is aged for two years in American and French oak, then a further two in bottle before release. The Gran Reserva, an absolute classic Rioja only released in the best vintages, spends three years in barrels and released with at least a further four years in bottle.