The years around 1870 were unstable times for Europe. In Spain, Queen Isabella was dethroned in a coup d'état. The search for a suitable successor was even one of the causes of the Franco-German War.
Around the same time, Luciano de Murrieta y García-Lemoine set a milestone in Spanish wine history with the acquisition of a plot of land in the heart of Rioja. Years earlier, he had acquired sound knowledge of viticulture and cellar techniques in Bordeaux, and finally incorporated this into the production of his first wines in Logroño from 1852. Unlike Bordeaux, however, he vinified in American oak and let the wines mature much longer. Success came promptly. His winery became the first commercial winery in the region, with deliveries as far away as Cuba and Mexico.