The sentimental favorite Marqués de Riscal wines !!

I have written before on the Rioja wine region of Spain, but conversation with a fellow blogger got me to think about this particular property, My first sip of wine came from Marqués de Riscal back when my maternal grandmother Amparo (pajara, tenerife) allowed me a sip when I was 8 yrs old !! Later on, it was, also, my first bottle of wine I purchased; many many years ago. From then , I even worked in a liquor store (ABC) wine department in Florida. Went on to have diploma in wine knowledge from ICEX, the commercial office of Spain abroad and Sopexa ,food and wine from France. The love of wines have continue to this day and even greater, cannot have a meal without it ! My cellars are not big ,and on any given day you can find 50-100 bottles in it, just for drinking not into collection, as the wine is made to be drunk !

I like to tell you in my black and white series, no pictures ,the story of this fascinating wine property of the Marqués de Riscal in ElCiego, Rioja Alavesa of Spain, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Marqués de Riscal arrived in La Rioja Alavesa from France with an innovative spirit and was the first to produce wine using Bordeaux methods. Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga received in 1858 from his sister Marceliana some possessions in Elciego with an important wine production. He sent from Bordeaux, where he lived, 9,000 vine plants of varieties that did not exist in the area at the time such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir, the finest that were grown in France, to experiment in their vineyards, where grapes of the Tempranillo and Graciano varieties had been grown.

For its part, the Diputación de Álava,(area govt) which already had the practical school of agriculture under way, at the request of viticulturists and winemakers, contacted Hurtado de Amégaza so that he could look for a person in France who had experience in the modern production of wines. Both he and his son Camilo, connoisseurs of Bordeaux society and wine people, saw in Jean Pineau the technician they were looking for, and the provincial body hires Pineau, who, after a few years in this agricultural school, is fired and hired by the Marqués de Riscal. The objective was to introduce practices that were already being carried out in Bordeaux, in everything that has to do with the vineyards, harvests and production, to obtain wines of the highest quality and to be preserved for several years, since, until then, they were bulk from a single harvest that, to preserve them, they added alcohol, with the result of strong and bitter wines, very difficult to drink. The French winemaker took charge of the vineyards and tested new production methods with extraordinary results. The Marqués and his son Camilo gave him total confidence and made important investments, including a new cellar with the capacity to hold barrels of wine. This is how a new stage began. The French winemaker settled in Elciego for 21 years and survived the second generation of Marqués de Riscal, mainly led by Camilo and José Carlos Hurtado de Amézaga.

The Plaza del Reloj or clock square is the reference point of Elciego, (the blind) and from where you can contemplate the history of Marqués de Riscal through the buildings that surround it. The most emblematic building is the original La Bodega, which began to be built in 1860. The facilities, made of local stone, were designed in accordance with the latest oenological trends to accommodate the most modern facilities in terms of winemaking. In 1883 the cellar known as El Palomar began to be built following the style of the Bordeaux wineries. In 2011 it was remodeled, becoming a space equipped with the latest technology and the most advanced machinery for the production of high-quality wines, and this is where the high-end wines of Marqués de Riscal are made today. Strolling among thousands of barrels, we arrive at what is called La Catedral, where we can see the history of this winery through bottles that rest in the midst of sacred silence and with carefully controlled light, temperature and humidity conditions and where the characteristic aroma of good Rioja fills everything.

Frank O. Ghery ,a Canadian architect, designer of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao was called upon to design it. In 2006 the Elciego wineries were transformed into the Ciudad del Vino or City of Wine, a complex that includes the primary wineries, the most modern, the vineyards and a leisure complex that includes the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, an emblematic building designed by the architect Frank Gehry and inaugurated by King Juan Carlos I.

Alejandro Aznar is, since 1994, president of Vinos de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal or the heritage wines of Riscal who controls the business. He was the promoter of La Ciudad del Vino de Elciego, The house founded in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga , the Marqués de Riscal had the touch in these more than 160 years other shareholders entered this company, there was always a member of the family on the board of directors. Now there is Francisco Hurtado de Amézaga, the fifth generation, who is also a winemaker and general technical director of the winery.

The official Marqués de Riscal :

The ElCiego tourist office on the Marqués de Riscal :

The Rioja wines on ElCiego wineries :

The Euskadi Basque tourist board on the Rioja Alavesa of Marqués de Riscal :

In my wine love route, worked with many folks, including given my experiences and knowledge to help improved the Apolo y Baco webpage, that I have in my front page bottom in my blogroll. IN Spanish, but you have all info here even contact information for all Bodegas in Spain. I have it in the Basque Rioja Alavesa region of the Marqués de Riscal!

There you go folks, I am glad the experience now fully integrated into my blog, my life’s history. Hope you can appreciated and do read my other many posts on wines including my series on wines news of France ! The Marqués de Riscal will always be a sentimental favorite, and it is a good wine too ! Even if cannot find a picture!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

2 Comments to “The sentimental favorite Marqués de Riscal wines !!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: