The land of Sherry or Xéres or Jerez:vinos olé!!!

So once in a while I dwell into wines one of my favorite hobbies over the years. If you have read my blog, won’t go into the background, but I am diploma holder of France and Spain and a nice cellar of my own. Over the years, I have seen folks whose blog are only dedicated to wines, hardly ever crossing lines. I do in all sort of travel as wine is one reason I travel too, to all corners of the world. One dear old post would like to update is on sherry or xéres or jerez of Andalucia Spain. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

I was lucky to be back to this wonderful corner of my beloved Spain down in the province of Cadiz, autonomous region of Andalucia, Kingdom of Spain. This is Jerez de la Frontera. And its great on wines; not the least gorgeous bodegas.

The sherry wines are made mostly from Palomino grapes in this part of the world for centuries, whites wines of Manzanilla and Fino ,and darker oxidize wines such as Oloroso and Amontillado, and dessert wines done from Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez. The word of Sherry is an English version of Xeres or Jerez. The area covers from Sanlùcar de Barrameda to Puerto de Santa Maria passing by Jerez de la Frontera.

A bit of history here is a must me think. The name of Jerez de la Frontera as many other towns ending in Frontera or frontier is the demarcation point of Moors/Arab and Christian/Spanish lands. As the Catholic kings Fernando and Isabel  armies were marching on, each time a town was conquered it marked the frontier of this world. Therefore, in this case Jerez is the town and Frontera is for the frontier once liberated so then you have Jerez de la Frontera. Ok

The history here goes back to the Phoenicians to the year 1100 BC! but the distillation was born with the Moors in 711 ,and from 1264 under Spanish Kings the wines took on Europe and the rest of the world. The different styles briefly are:

Fino (‘fine’ in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry. The wine is aged in barrels under a cap of  yeast flour to prevent contact with the air. Manzanilla is an especially light variety of Fino Sherry made around the port of Sanlùcar de Barrameda. Manzanilla Pasada is a Manzanilla that has undergone extended aging or has been partially oxidised, giving a richer, nuttier flavour.

Amontillado is a variety of Sherry that is first aged under flor but which is then exposed to oxygen, producing a sherry that is darker than a Fino but lighter than an Oloroso. Naturally dry, they are sometimes sold lightly to medium sweetened but these can no longer be labelled as Amontillado.

Oloroso (‘scented’ in Spanish) is a variety of sherry aged oxidative for a longer time than a Fino or Amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine. With alcohol levels  between 18 and 20%, Olorosos are the most alcoholic sherries. Like Amontillado, naturally dry, they are often also sold in sweetened versions called Cream sherry. As with Amontillado “Sweet Oloroso”, “Rich Oloroso” and “Oloroso Dulce” are prohibited terms.

Palo Cortado is a variety of Sherry that is initially aged like an Amontillado, typically for three or four years, but which subsequently develops a character closer to a Oloroso. This either happens by accident when the flor dies, or commonly the flor is killed by fortification or filtration.

Jerez Dulce (Sweet Sherries) are made either by fermenting dried Pedro Ximénez (PX) or Moscatel grapes, which produces an intensely sweet dark brown or black wine, or by blending sweeter wines or grape must with a drier variety.

Cream is a type of sweet sherry first made in the 1860s by blending different sherries, usually including Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez.

Other towns where there are bodegas either producing or for stocking of sherries are Chiclana de la Frontera (where i have stayed), Chipiona, El Puerto de Santa María ,Lebrija ,Puerto Real, Rota (long standing US Naval base there too, and friend), Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Trebujena.

For a further breakdown and official information on Sherry see the official webpage for the wine: https://www.sherry.wine/sherry-wine

At Jerez de la Frontera,  I visited the famous farm-house of Domecq at Finca Los Alburejos with Alvaro Domecq himself riding the horses!!!webpage: http://www.fincalosalburejos.com/

jerez domecq coming in oct15

jerez domecq arena plaza virgen del recuerdo out oct15

jerez domecq bulls braves oct15

And later went to Gonzalez Byass bodega for more wines and Tio Pepe!!! webpage: https://www.gonzalezbyass.com/int-en

jerez g byass tio pepe .. oct15

jerez g byass Cuba and all barrels oct15

jerez g byass barrel chapel oct15

In both properties above had a sumptuous dinner in the bodega or picador arena in the wonderful Andalusian nights to remember forever!!!

The Jerez de la Frontera tourist office on sherryhttp://www.turismojerez.com/index.php/en/what-to-visit/wine-brandy-2

And something will need to write more eventually are the Brandy of Jerez, derived from the making of sherries but spirits more closely to the cognac style of France. The regulatory and history of it is here for reference in our home we had and like Sanchez Romate, Cardenal Mendoza, Bodegas Williams & Humbert Duque de Alba, and Bodegas Osborne Carlos I webpage: http://www.brandydejerez.es/en

It was a short trip but very memorable for the sherry wine tastings at Jerez de la Frontera. Hope you enjoy the post.

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!

2 Comments to “The land of Sherry or Xéres or Jerez:vinos olé!!!”

  1. My planned trip to Cadiz and Jerez this year was cancelled by Covid.

    Liked by 1 person

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