We have changed our official company name; when we bought the estate that had belonged to Eugenia de Montijo back in 1996, our first thought was to name the company after the name of the piece of land that the once Empress of France had owned in the village of Baños de Rioja, as we were going to be using the grapes to make wines from the estate – so the company was named Bodegas la Emperatriz S.L.U.. That was the very beginning of the project, everything was still to be done, but we were enthuiastic about building that future for ourselves.
But time passes so quickly – especially if you are enjoying what you are doing – and before you’ve realised, 20 years have gone by, the project that was once just in our imaginations has long since become a reality and the wines which we bottle under the name Finca la Emperatriz are considered amongst the best in the Rioja region. Over the years we have improved the facilities for the production and ageing of our wines, we have build up a distribution network around the world and within in our own country, placing the winesin the very best restaurants. More recently we have created facilities to begin to receive tourists and other visitors as we believe that cellar-door tastings and sales bring us close to our clients, who are, after all, our true raison d’etre.
At the same time, over twenty years new dreams have been dreamed and we have started to bring some of them to life: new wines, new estates and new projects, which no longer fit comfortably under the name of Bodegas la Emperatriz. So we have decided to create a new ‘umbrella name’ – Viñedos Hermanos Hernáiz (literally, the “Vineyards of the Hernáíz Brothers”), which will, of course, include the existing range of Finca la Emperatriz. This is the beginning of a new stage in our company’s history, which we hope and believe will bring us another 20 years of success, as we continue to apply the same philosophy and criteria to our daily tasks.