In 1881, Félix Azpilicueta follows his instinct and recovers a family vineyard in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta. Gradually, this small dream becomes the prestigious winery it is today, over 150 years later.

bodega azpilicueta background


After marrying Gregoria Gonzalo Torrealba, he begins his wine sales and production business, mainly focusing on exporting to France. Years later, in 1881, he would found Bodegas El Romeral, which would soon open branches in Logroño, Santander, Bilbao, and San Sebastián. He built it next to the train tracks, thinking of exportation, thus collaborating in the creation of the Barrio de la Estación where some of his workers and even himself would live.


In 1883, he became mayor of Fuenmayor for the second time and provincial deputy, financing the construction of the town’s first sidewalk. Years later, during 1898 and 1899, to combat the phylloxera spreading throughout Spain, Félix Azpilicueta introduced the American vine. A rootstock that would delay the spread of phylloxera in this region by almost two decades.


40 years after his arrival in the heart of Rioja, Félix built the new bodega El Romeral, the most advanced of its time. He introduced cutting-edge innovations such as lining the tanks with glass tiles or a central panel from which the entire winery was operated. The town of Fuenmayor pays homage to him by naming it after him, previously known as “Plaza del Progreso.”


Since 1927, the winery has been transferred to his heirs, and another 40 years later, the New Winery was built, a state-of-the-art winery that modeled its design after the one built by Félix Azpilicueta in 1913. In the early 1990s, Azpilicueta set the future direction of its wines, focusing on recovering the style of the old crianza and reserva, based on traditional varieties (Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo).

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