They were quite a pair. Juan Jose Palomino was appointed Deputy for Andalucia in 1933 by the II Republic, and was also owner of the Diario de Jerez newspaper. Juan Vergara was also a bit of a businessman, having established a pair of factories, one for pencils and the other for ice. They took over the now lost firm of Jose Bertemati. The Vergara family owned a beautiful mansion called the Atalaya, now the Jerez Museum. They owned 300 hectares of vineyard, and their impressive bodega formed a complex known as the 12 Disciples, but unfortunately only three remain; La Cruce, Pio XII and Dios Baco. The latter, built in 1848, was named after a statue of Bacchus on the facade, one of quite a few embellishments. It contained 2,000 butts and a cooperage.
In 1963 the firm was bought by Rumasa, and for the next 20 years or so all went passably well. The palatial Atalaya became Rumasa offices, but it wasn't to last, and Rumasa was expropriated by the Government in 1983 and its component companies checked over and sold off. Harveys bought Palomino and Vergara in 1985, and what with the continual restructuring of multinationals, sold the Dios Baco bodega in 1992 to Paez Morilla who then established Bodegas Dios Baco, and the Fino Tio Mateo brand and its soleras to Grupo Estevez in 1993.
|The Dios Baco Bodega before restoration|