of winemaking in
of the old world
The first evidence of winegrowing in Quel dates back to 1327, thanks to the documents found in the Chapter House of the Cathedral of Calahorra. Specifically, these documents relate to the construction of «a dam to supply the mills and irrigate the vineyards and other landed property in the district of Santamaría de la Cueva, adjacent to Autol»
In the Middle Ages, vine growing and winemaking flourished in Quel. Lord García Sánchez, of Alfaro, gave a licence so that each inhabitant could plant ten “peonadas” (a peonada is the amount of land that a farm labourer could work in one day) on non-irrigated land
The Cadastre of the Marqués de la Ensenada (1752) evidenced the growth of Quel in the 18th century with regard to vine growing, with 542 hectares under cultivation. Quel was one of the major producers in Rioja Oriental
In 1851 the Cadastre of Pascual Madoz recorded the existence of more than 350 winemaking caves or cellars in Quel, on a small hillock rising above the southern bank of the river Cidacos. The Barrio de Bodegas or winery district of Quel is a unique example in La Rioja, due to its distinctive structure and the use of gravity in the winemaking process, something that is achieved through the system of conduits (known as “luceras“) to feed the grapes from the top of the Cliff to the fermentation vats located at the bottom of each winery
The traditional winemaking method continued in the Barrio de Bodegas right up to the mid-twentieth century. With the establishment of the Quel Cooperative (1947) the majority of the traditional vine growers and winemakers left their little wineries in Quel and the district was gradually abandoned to become a place for family leisure activities
Gabriel Pérez took up the challenge to found Queirón. His dream. A modern winery that embraces the history of oenology and winemaking in Quel, using the gravity-fed winemaking technique of the old Barrio de Bodegas and recovering the autochthonous varieties and vine growing areas in order to achieve a style of fine wines from Rioja Oriental, marked by elegance, long finish and the characteristic soils of Quel.