The earliest data we have
José María Fernández began marketing home-made wines and distilled beverages produced in the family wine cellar in the area of Balagú in Autol (La Rioja). The first references to these cellar wineries in documents and legends put them around the time of the War of Independence at the beginning of the 19th Century. The cellar consisted of a cave dug around 16 metres into the hillside of the Camorra fountain path, with small branches for the different production phases involved in producing the wine.
Alterations in preparation for increased demand
It was during this time that José María Fernández and his son Jesús Fernández, already involved in the wine-making business, extended the cellar and reinforced it with several concrete arches. The idea was to improve the installations to meet the existing demand and be prepared to cater for a likely increase in bulk wine shipments to Navarra and the Basque Country.
A change of cycle
In 1954 the cooperative winery of Autol was founded where Jesús Fernández was heavily involved in the process. From that moment, they stopped producing wine in the old family wine cellar and started to produce it together with other local vineyard owners in modern facilities. They took a large technological leap and started to produce wine as it was being produced in other areas of Rioja and France. One change that should be highlighted within this new technique consists of the replacement of the wooden fermentation tanks with concrete ones.
The restructuring of the family winery
Saturnina Hernández, , the widow of Jesús Fernández, who died in an accident in 1986, decided together with their four children and their respective spouses to return to the family's roots whereby the production of the wine was managed entirely by the family. They were determined to have a winery in which they could produce the best wine they were capable of making. With this goal in mind, they chose a privileged part of the region, El Inestral, an area irrigated by two rivers, the Ebro and the Cidacos river. As a reference for the construction of the new winery they used French chateaux , where the wineries are integrated into the vineyards themselves. This design allowed them to be true to their philosophy according to which the production of the wine starts in the vineyard, ensuring that the clusters of grapes reach the winery in as short a time as possible so they make the maximum contribution to the wine made from them.
The estates are completed
Around this time they acquired several of the adjacent estates dedicated to vine-growing and which were interesting due to their soil characteristics. The purpose of this expansion was to increase the variety of vineyards as much as possible to give the wines an extensive range of characteristics.
The first wines bottled
It was around this date that Bodegas Torremaciel first began to put bottled wine on the market. Up until then the winery's business had consisted of the production of quality wines to sell in bulk to large wineries of La Rioja. From that point forward, the winery also took on the marketing of its own bottled wine, the vintage of the best wines, thus completing the production cycle.
A very special wine, GR 1129
Bodegas Torremaciel's first signature wine came on the market. The GR 1129 project was created with the idea that only the best years and the best bunches are capable of creating a different, special wine. Therefore, this wine is not released every year and in the years it is released, the requirement is not to repeat the same style but rather to be unique. Furthermore, it is presented as a limited product with numbered bottles.