The Champions Dinner (officially known as the Masters Club Dinner), has been held on the first Tuesday during the Masters Tournament since 1952. As the reigning Champion, Jon Rahm had the honor of setting the menu for this year’s dinner that was enjoyed last night by past Masters Champions who have won the green jacket at some point in their careers.

The menu featured a variety of Spanish cuisine paired with Spanish wines especially selected by Jon Rahm, including Imperial Gran Reserva 2012 and Contino Blanco 2020 from the historic Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España winery, also known as C.V.N.E. (pronounced coo-nay).

After winning the Masters at the Augusta National last year, Jon was asked to think about the menu for the Champions Dinner and it was clear to him that he wanted the dinner to be a tribute to his roots and his family. In addition to the food, the wine also had to be very fitting for the occasion, which led him to select Imperial Gran Reserva specifically as the red wine for the dinner.

The tie between Spanish golf legend Jon Rahm and the C.V.N.E. winery goes back years. In addition to sharing Basque roots with the founders of C.V.N.E., the current world No. 3 golfer from Barrika also inherited his passion for C.V.N.E.’s iconic Imperial Gran Reserva from his family, particularly from his grandfather. In a recent interview, Jon himself expressed his wish for this unique dinner, «if they let me, the wine will be this one- Imperial Gran Reserva. It’s a very special story that links me to my grandad”.

Jon Rahm’s relationship with Imperial Gran Reserva goes back to his grandfather, who was a delegate of the Athletic Club de Bilbao for years and whose favorite wine was Imperial Gran Reserva. This legacy passed from grandfather to father to son, and so Imperial Gran Reserva has become the protagonist of the Rahm’s family milestones. On his wedding day, Jon received two bottles of Imperial Gran Reserva from his father, from the vintage of his birth, 1994, personalized with the Athletic Club de Bilbao logo. «For me that bottle is like having my grandfather’s ashes, every time I see it, I remember him», confessed Rahm.

These two bottles currently flank Jon’s US Open Trophy which resides in a place of honor on the mantle above the fireplace in his home. In addition, Jon’s father also gave Jon a bottle of Imperial Gran Reserva when Jon’s first son, Kepa, was born.

For its part, Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, C.V.N.E. wanted to pay tribute to one of Spain’s greatest golfers. A special label was created for the Champions Dinner with a green skirt, the color of the Augusta National green jacket, and the text: «Augusta 2023. Masters Champion. Jon Rahm». A memento for history and to commemorate Jon Rahm’s great triumph.

About the wines
Imperial Gran Reserva is an iconic wine from Rioja and Spain. It is only made in exceptional vintages and is designed to last, and improve, over time. It was born in 1920 as the first modern Rioja and today it has become the iconic wine of Spain, after achieving the distinction of best wine in the world by Wine Spectator in 2013, becoming the first Spanish wine to achieve this recognition. It is produced in its own dedicated winery within C.V.N.E., in the iconic Barrio de la Estación in Haro, the birthplace of Rioja wines.

Contino Blanco, is an exclusive white wine that comes from the vineyards surrounding the Finca de San Rafael, where Viñedos del Contino is located, a small winery that marked a milestone in Rioja Alavesa for being the first winery built in the style of a charming Bordeaux chateau. It means a return to the traditional Rioja whites with aging capacity, balance and freshness. A wine in which there is no excessive woodiness, in which the floral and fruity character predominates, but with the tannic contribution of the new and semi-new 500-litre barrels, giving it structure and character, as well as a touch of freshness, thanks to a small amount of aging in concrete.