The Bodega Contador story starts in 1995 when Benjamin Romeo, winemaker and vine-grower, acquired a century-old cave hewn into the rock beneath the Castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra (Rioja). In 1996, he made the first vintage of his “La Cueva del Contador” wine and started to buy vineyards for his plan to become a “bodeguero” – a wine producer. In the following years, he carried out small scale vinifications in the cave and continued to acquire vineyards. In 1999, he made the first vintage of “Contador”. Seeing these first wines favourably received on the market and specialist press, Benjamin decided to dedicate himself full time to his personal project in 2000.
Throughout 2001, Benjamin Romeo reconditioned and equipped the garage at his parents’ home in San Vicente for winemaking, thereby increasing the vinification capacity over what was possible in the cave. The North American wine critic, Robert Parker’s, Review awarded maximum points (100) to the 2004 and 2005 vintages of Contador, made in the garage. This accolade, hitherto unknown in Spain, hugely increased the label’s international prestige.
The new winery (bodega) was opened on 21 June 2008, coinciding with the summer solstice. The building sits at the foot of the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in the centre of the area where the various Bodega Contador vineyards are located.