Owned by the Cantarero family and located in Uclés, a small appellation in Castilla-La Mancha, Fontana started producing bulk wines but successfully moved to bottled wine in the 1990s.
Grapes were sourced from Monte Carbonero, an imposing estate with 400Ha of vines and holm oaks. Although wines exhibited the DO La Mancha and VT Castilla designations in the past, most of the Fontana wines are currently sold as DO Uclés. In fact, they strive to set their wines apart from La Mancha focusing their location in the northernmost area of Castilla La Mancha.
Another significant change in Fontana was the decision to delegate managing, winemaking and sales to Peninsula Vinicultores, a wine making and marketing business set up by local entrepreneur and co-owner of Fontana, Jesús Cantarero, and Masters of Wine Andreas Kubach and Sam Harrop. With some small projects already under way in other Spanish regions, Fontana has acted as a sort of test lab to bring in new wine concepts. Sustainability and the search of authenticity at all price levels are two of the core values found in the company’s Manifesto; an upward path starting from basic organoleptic principles and moving towards higher levels of aesthetic pleasure and cultural elements along with the complexity and personality of the wines.
The whole range has been revamped and sets a clear path from the vineyards (600Ha owned by the Fontana family plus grapes bought from providers) to the bottle, creating new wines that make the most of the aromatic potential of the Monte Carbonero estate, recently renamed as Dominio de Fontana. As a result, production has increased from 1.2m to 4m bottles.
Mesta is the new entry-level on-trade range —production stands at 3m bottles sold at around €4. The name behind these simple but well-defined single-varietal wines refers to the livestock tradition in the area, which is visibly explained on the labels.
Next on the ladder are the Dominio de Fontana wines. The approximate 600,000 bottles (sold in Spain at €7 each) include a range of fruit-driven blends like the whites Dominio de Fontana Sauvignon Blanc & Verdejo, and Chardonnay & Viura, and the reds Dominio de Fontana Garnacha & Syrah, Tempranillo & Cabernet and Dominio de Fontana Roble Tempranillo & Syrah. With an oaky style, the taste of the Roble is arguably the most similar to Fontana’s former profile as it is widely popular in the local market. The high-end range comprises the single-vineyard Quercus (5,000 bottles, around €22 in Spain) and Quinta de Quercus (€12).
In practice, they operate internally as if there were three different wineries with specific-sized vats for each range of wines, different harvesting and winemaking protocols and selection criteria.
75% of the wines are exported.