Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bodegas: AR Ruiz y Hermanos

Iñigo Ruiz de Villegas y Sánchez de Tagle was born in Ruiloba (Santander) and having moved to Jerez in about 1810 began working in the shop of his fellow “montañés” (one from the mountains of the north), José Pérez Pelos. In 1823, partly with his own capital and partly with a loan of 10,000 reales from his brother in law, Jacinto Antonio del Pomar y del Pomar, Iñigo began a career in the wine trade.

Iñigo Ruiz Tagle (foto col. JL Jimenez) 
On the 6th April 1836 he bought bodegas in the Calle Marqués de Cádiz at an auction, expanding them in 1839 with the purchase of some houses. In 1853 he was elected as the 6th Mayor of Jerez, and as a vineyard owner he was involved with the classification of the vineyards which was an official council undertaking. His son, Rodrigo Ruiz Pomar (1814-1899), married to Benita Pérez y Pérez, ran the bodega for a while changing the name to A Pérez Pomar or Ruiz Pomar Hermanos and leaving it to his sons to run while he continued the work on the convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas in Ruiloba which had been begun by his priest brother José, who had died young.

The bodega in C/Lechugas (foto: Jandalos/ MA Aramburu -Zabala Liguera y Consuelo Soldevilla Oria)
Iñigo never forgot his homeland in the north and was even elected mayor of Ruiloba and bought a beautiful XVIII century house there. His business was in Jerez, however, and he continued expansion with the purchase of more bodegas and houses between 1846 and 1861 in the streets of Marqués de Cádiz, Barreras, Guadalete, Luís Pérez and the Plaza Cadenas. Between 1861 and 1864 he bought the El Aljibe vineyard in the Pago Añina and also the Campo Real vineyard along with its attendant vineyard houses, wines, soleras and barrels from Diego Zurita y Negrete, Marqués de Campo Real. Here they made outstanding PX. In 1833 Iñigo and his wife Rosalía Pomar bought a house on the corner of Calle Pozo Olivar and Calle Ponce, rebuilding it in 1841. Iñigo died in 1866 leaving over 15 million reales de vellón.

(foto: es.paperblog.com)
When José Leña Rendon, already established in 1809 with interests in Malaga, Madeira and Port, joined the firm, a  modern and magnificent new bodega was built at 6 and 8 Calle Lechugas in 1873 and the business name changed in 1880 to Antonio Rodrigo (AR) Ruiz Hermanos. The firm would be the fourth biggest exporter in 1906. The name was changed again in 1894 to that of the firm’s principal shareholder Felix Ruiz y Ruiz (1852-1917), and there was a bodega in Calle Matadero on the site of what had been the San Juan de Dios convent, and business grew in northern Europe and South America. Felix Ruiz and his wife Rosario Romero Perez had no children and the firm began to languish in the hands of family members until ultimately it became the first bodega to be bought by Rumasa in 1963 and in 1974 it was bought in a run-down state by José Estévez.

Some brands were Palido Regente Macharnudo Fino), Oloroso Plus Ultra, Palo Cortado Anada 1750, Amontillado Lesseps, Fino carta Blanca, Anis Triana, Cognac Gayarre. Sales of their Xeres- Quina-Ruiz were surprisingly good, especially with the new label (below).

A member of another branch of the family, José Ruiz Rendón (Jerez, 1840), established a bodega in 1869, J Ruiz y Cia. SA. This bodega made a reputation with wines such as Amontillados Ena, Santa Barbara and Ruiz, Fino-Amontillado Don Félix among other wines as well as brandy, ponche and anís. They were one of the first firms to export Sherry in bottle and were awarded a patent for a process of cask seasoning. 

(foto: desdetemplolucer.blogspot.com)

Some brands were: Amontillado Salvador Guardiola, Ponche Español, Fino Tio Enrique, Jerez Pálido, Manzanilla Leonora, Amontillado Casanovas, Don Iñigo, Tio Bernardo, Fino Julia and Amontillado Tocayo. Their brand Fino Isabelita was shipped by Harveys until the end of Rumasa. 

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