Marques de Caceres
Founded in 1970, with its first release in 1975, Marqués de Cáceres has rapidly become the leader in the renaissance of Rioja. The bodega was established by Henri Forner, whose family has been active in the wine business for generations. The family fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War and settled in France. When Henri decided to establish a bodega in his homeland, he selected what he considered the finest viticultural area in Spain: Cenicero in Rioja Alta. Cenicero is in gently rolling hills bordered by the Ebro River and benefits from a microclimate within the Sierra de Cantabria mountains to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda range to the south. The growing season is sunny, usually followed by a period of rainfall, annually 500 millimeters. The roots of the vines grow deep in an ideal soil of chalky clay.
Forner introduced the system of estate-bottling used in Bordeaux by limiting his source of grapes to those of the immediate area—a departure from the local practice of using more widespread sources of supply. He established the Union Viti-Vinicola, together with a selection of growers who supply the Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres with grapes; this restricted source of grapes gives a consistent style and character to the wine. Emile Peynaud, former professor and chief wine researcher at the University of Bordeaux, was initial consultant to the winery. That position is held today by Michel Rolland and the vinification methods at Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres remain similar to those used in Bordeaux.