Our Barón de Villacampa™ wines are Estate Grown and Bottled by Bodegas Leza Garcia, nestled in the prestigious and world renowned Rioja Alta wine region, in Uruñuela, northern Spain; this family winery is owned and managed by a very well respected and esteemed third generation family of wine growers and makers. The winery is traditional, yet equipped with the latest state-of-the-art wine producing technology. The winery owns about 80 hectares of Vineyards.
This wine collection has been named in honour of the ancestors of the "Villacampa" clan of the Alto Aragon Mountains, a family which traces its roots over a millennium to the kingdoms of Navarre, Viguera in the Rioja region. Members of this family were for generations to come, the Chieftains of the Serrablo valley region, in the highlands of Aragon. The family’s pre-history starts with Navarre’s colonization of the Rioja region and its conquest by the king Sancho Garcés I; the original political and military administration of this region was entrusted to the Duke Fortún Galíndez, as "Senior in Naiera" in 924, then as "Praefectus" in 942, and from 950 to 972 as "Dux". Fortún Galíndez was the son of Galindo II Aznárez Count of Aragon, and of the Princess Sancha Garcés of Navarre, sister of the King Sancho Garcés I. Don Fortún Galíndez, Duke of Nájera married Lady Velasquita Sánchez, daughter of the King Sancho Garcés I; and they begot the Lord Ochoani (Otsoa-Wolf) Fortuñones and Lord Aznar Fortuñones. Lord Ochoani Fortuñones begot Don Fortún Oxoiz and the Lord Jimeno Ochoániz, viscount of Baztán and Lord of Lizarrara. Furthermore, during the XI century, in the Christian controlled Iberian northern mountainous region, lived and ruled a very powerful King, a direct male line descendant of Sancho Garcés I, known as Don Sancho Garcés III "The Great", who married Munia Mayor Sanchez, daughter of the Count of Castile, and they begot García Sánchez III "De Nájera", father of Lady Mencia Garcés of Navarre, who married Lord D. Lope Fortuñones de Nájera, son of Lord D. Fortún Oxoiz, Lord of Viguera 1013-1050, Lord of Cameros, Lord of the valley of Arnedo, and Lord of Cantabria, and most importantly the most trusted personal advisor to the Spanish Emperor Sancho Garcés III "The Great conquistador".
According to the "Diccionario Historico-Geografico" de la Rioja of 1846: "The first Lord of Cameros was D. Fortún Oxoiz or Uxoiz, related to the royal family of Pamplona". An observation worthy of sharing is that the Cameros region was as important to the "Jimeno-Iñigo family dynasty" Kings of Navarre then, as to Asturias is today to the present "Bourbon family dynasty" Kings of Spain.
The Royal heir, prince and future King in Pamplona was called the Prince of the Cameros, as today, the Prince don Felipe, is titled the Prince of Asturias. In 1016, Lord Fortún Oxoiz was assigned the sensitive and very important duty of establishing the boundaries between the kingdoms of Pamplona and Nájera with the county of Castile.
The children and descendants of Lord Fortún Oxoiz, received in tenancy, the lordships of: Clavijo, Grañón, Logroño, Alberite, Arnedo, Ocón, Autol, Agoncillo, Jubera, Cameros, Calahorra, Sotes, Tricio, Huarte, Arroníz, Autol, Azagra, Muéz, Nájera, Villacampa, Jaca, Alquézar, Grasa, Nocito, and the monasteries of San Prudencio of Monte Laturce, where Lord Fortún Oxoiz was buried in 1057, Lord Lope was buried there in 1068, and the princess Lady Mencia was also buried there, in 1106; other monasteries the ancestors of the family possessed were San Esteban de Deio, Fanlo, San Martín, San Pelayo de Gavín.
Lord D. Lope Fortuñones of Nájera and the princess Lady Mencia Garcés of Navarre, begot the notoriously powerful Lord D. García López, who married Lady Sancia Aznárez de Baión, and they begot the Villacampa family patriarchs, the Barons of the King, the Lords D. Blasco Garcés de Villacampa and Lord D. Sancho Garcés de Villacampa, Count of the palace or Royal High Steward of his majesty the king D. Sancho Ramírez of Aragón, circa 1068.
Thus far, the family’s recorded involvement in the wine industry began in the year 1036, where we have found historical evidence of the Lord D. Lope Fortuñones involvement in the wine tradition, when he received a vineyard next to the road to Tricio, in front of San Julian, from the famous monastery San Millán de la Cogolla in the Rioja region. San Millán or San Emiliano, founder of this religious community and saint lived 101 years, between 473-574, and he established there in the caves on this site what would later become the monastery of Suso, then in the XI century the king Garcia III de Nájera tried to remove the remains of the saint and take them to the Royal monastery of "Santa María La Real in Nájera", however legend tells us that the oxen and cart which were transporting the remains of the saint, did not get very far and got stuck in the mud a short distance from its original burial place, this incident was understood as a sign from God that the saint did not want his mortal remains to be transferred elsewhere; therefore another monastery was built at this new site and it was named Yuso; Both of these monasteries are located very closed to each other, and they are known as the San Millán de la Cogolla monastery complex; Its founder Saint Millán was also notorious for the ability to heal people, practice exorcism, and preach the gospel, etc. San Millán de la Cogolla is also known for being the birthplace of two original Iberian languages, based on its documented possession of the oldest written evidence of the Romance Castilian and Basque languages.
Later on, more evidence in relation to the involvement in the wine tradition is found when the Abbot, Lord D. Banzo of the monastery of Fanlo, is historically cited as to owning many vineyards during the period of 1035-1070, as documented in the monastery’s records: DRI # 51, #128, 129, 130. Don Banzo was notorious for being the great warrior monk, who conquered with his troops the Moorish stronghold of Alquézar, near Huesca, in Aragon. Don Banzo was a brother of Lord D. Lope Fortuñones.
Five hundred years later, the Squire Don Pedro de Villacampa, a Jurist-Doctor, and a descendant of Lord D. Lope Fortuñones, cites in his memoirs, that circa 1350, the castle of Larrés was enlarged, and that his father Pedro who lived to be ninety years of age told him, that his grandfather was the First Lord of the castle of Larrés, and that he was there when the castle was founded, before the "Arbeas" family clan were given possession of it. Furthermore, he adds that during the years 1539 and 1540, his vineyards in Jaca, ancient capital of the kingdom of Aragon, yielded the best grape harvests in one hundred years, he adds that particularly in the year 1540, half of his Vineyards produced about 14,400 litres of wine; therefore, assuming he received the same results in the other half of his vineyards, the total harvest that year was equivalent to 28,800 litres or 38, 400 bottles of very fine wine. Although, he also cites that during the years 1543, 1546-1549, the grape harvests were very poor, due to the heavy frosts and extremely cold winters. Years later, apparently Don Pedro’s grandchildren, the doctors in both sciences, D. Jaime and D. Felipe Villacampa Marenci still owned the 10 to 20 hectares of vineyards; thus, helping them fulfil a compulsory requirement of a minimum ownership of 1000 vines in order for noblemen to be accepted to serve in any government positions; specially so, in the Royal Courts of the Kingdom, in the Castle of Monzón, where they both proudly served by the nobility branch.
Another key member and honourable descendant of this clan, D. Pedro Villacampa y Maza de Lizana would become in the XIX century, Captain General of Spain, president of the Royal Tribunal of War and Marine, he would be recognized by historians as a "Hero" of the war of independence against Napoleon, and his Villacampa kin, who fought by his side in his army of volunteers as a "Race of Heroes".
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