The Spanish wine industrialist and journalist Camilo Hurtado de Amézaga y Balmaseda (1827-1888) was a descendant of General Baltasar Hurtado de Amezaga (1657-1720) who commanded the Bourbon troops in the Battle of Almansa. He studied in Paris and Bordeaux and specialized in oenology. In 1860 he introduced 9,000 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec(Cot) and Pinot Noir to Rioja Alavesa to experiment with them.
Until then only the autochthonous Tempranillo and Graciano had been cultivated there. A French winemaker sent by him introduced the winemaking techniques used in the Médoc and produced wines based on the French model. After many journeys through Europe, he inherited the fifty-five hectare Elciego and Torrea estates from his father's hands, which he managed from Madrid. He also founded a newspaper for which he regularly wrote articles. Hurtado de Amézaga inherited the title of Marqués de Riscal and is also considered the founder of the winery of the same name, which still exists today.
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