A family honors their past with a modern winery in Ribera del Duero
Founded in honor of Jaime Miguel Comenge by his son and grandson, Bodegas Comenge represents the family’s vision to produce one of Spain’s best wines. In 1940 Comenge wrote La Vid y los Vinos Españoles, one of the first and most important reference books on the wine and grape varieties of Spain. Memories of growing up surrounded by his father’s grape, leaf and juice samples led Jaime Jr. to found the winery in 1999 with his son, Alvaro, and winemaker Rafael Cuerda.
The Comenge family purchased land in one of the Ribera del Duero’s highest elevation areas, Curiel del Duero, and built their winery at the base of the region’s historic castle. The D.O. Ribera del Duero, nestled along the banks of the River Duero, receives more than 2,400 hours of sunlight and under 20 inches of rainfall a year, and produces some of the world’s best Tempranillo wine.
Seventy-four of Bodegas Comenge’s 82 acres of vineyards are planted to Tempranillo, and to date the winery has only produced a single 100% Tempranillo wine made from the best grapes of the estate. The winery’s inaugural 2001 Comenge was chosen as one of the top three wines of the vintage in Ribera del Duero and granted the maximum rating of five stars by Decanter Magazine.
To ensure high quality, the winery performs a triple selection process with their grapes, starting in the field where only the ripest clusters are harvested. Next each cluster is inspected on the sorting table before de-stemming, after which final selection takes place grape by grape. This meticulous selection is followed by Bodegas Comenge’s patented fermentation process, which uses carefully produced native yeasts to further ensure great structure and color extraction.
After a minimum of 12 months in mostly new French oak barrels, the wine is bottled and aged for an additional 6-12 months before release. With rich texture and worthy of additional cellar aging, Comenge Tempranillo would have made Jaime Miguel proud.