The modern history of Rioja wines is credited to Luciano de Murrieta (subsequently the Marqués de Murrieta) who traveled to Bordeaux and returned to establish the first commercial bodega in 1852. The new King of Spain, Amadeo de Saboya, granted him the Marqués title and praised him for making wines like the Médoc. The 1855 classification of Bordeaux had inspired many other red winemaking regions around the world to produce similar style wines.
A newly improved style of winemaking was lead by producers like the Marqués de Riscal, López de Heredia, CVNE (Compañía Vinícola de Norte de España), and La Rioja Alta, all of which were heavily influenced by the French. During this period the practice of using more barricas bordelesas in Rioja was becoming more popular amongst these producers. Not everyone was quick to apply the costly practice of aging wines in small oak casks, which seemed a nuisance and non-traditional.