FINCA LA EMPERATRIZ
Finca La Emperatriz is the original name of a unique estate in Baños de Rioja, now under ownership of the Hernáiz family.
The name comes from the original owner, the once Empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo. This Spanish noblewoman was wife to Napoleón III (himself the creator of the “Cru” system in Bordeaux), and was already making high quality wines in the second half of the XIXth century, winning a medal for them at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878.
The Hernáiz family bought the whole estate in 1996, and immediately set out on their first project to make top quality wines.
WHO WAS EUGENIA DE MONTIJO?
The aristocratically named María Eugenia Palafox Portocarrero y Kirkpatrick, countess of Teba, was the second daughter to Cipriano Palafox y Portocarrero, who himself held the title of 13th XIII duke of Peñaranda, count of Montijo and Teba as well as “grande de España”. Young Eugenia was brought up in an enlightened family, surrounded by intellectuals and diplomats, which certainly contributed to her renowned elegance and intelligence.
Later stays in Paris brought her into contact with the very top echelon of French society, where she met and later married the man who was to become Napoleon III, emperor of France.
She was known for her generosity which made her well-loved among the French. She also supported the creative arts and was, at a very early stage of the movement, a strong defender of equality for women. She was also considered a very stylish women and her tastes and decisions created fashions and trends at the time