Sherry Wine Region

The Sherry wine region in southern Spain is unique

The sherry, aca Jeréz, also names Xérès and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda wine region is a unique one. It owes its identity to the geographic location and the its fascinating history.

Jerez - a wine with history

Xera was the name given by the Phoenicians to what we know today as Jerez. The first writing of Jerez (Sherry) wine is from the 1st Century BC, by Strabo, the Greek geographer. In his book Geography III, he described how the Jerez vines was brought to the region by the Phoenicians in the year 1100 BC. 4 kilometers from Jerez, Phoenician wine-presses have been discovered. This people also founded the ancient town of Gades (Cádiz), and came with the art of wine making. The wines were later exported to Rome and many other Mediterranean cities.

Around the year 138 BC, Scipio Aemillianus opened a new trade road between Cádiz and the Betica Region, resulting in exportationfrom Cadiz of olive oil, wine and other native food products. The fame of the “Vinum Ceretensis” had already conquered several regions of the Empire.

Around the year 711 AD, during the domination of Moorish in Spain, the production of the Jerez wine continued.  King Alfonso X of Castile, in 1264, reclaimed Jerez from the Moors. After years of violence and wars, the city and the people suffered important changes. The land was redistributed in order to social prestige. And it was obligatory by law to cultivate vines and cereals. The vines became fundamental for the local economy. Even King Alfonso had his own vineyard.

One of the names of a native grape variety, Palomino, is given by the name of an important military officer, Fernán Ibáñez Palomino.

The English and French demand of Sherry wines led to creating the ‘Regulation of raisin and grape harvesters of Jerez’ in August 1483. The new rules regulated the harvest, the characteristics of the barrels, the ageing system and the commercial trials.

After Catherine of Aragon was married to King Arthur of England, and later to King Henry VIII, the wines from Sherry (Jerez) started a period of expansion not only in Europe but also in America. The wine was brought by the Spaniards during the conquer of The New World.

In the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century the trade with the new colonies on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean converted many small family wine businesses into large industrial campanies. Italians investors and traders settled in the region and at the same time Sherry started becoming popular at the English Court. British investments would little by little become crucial to to the growth of the sherry Empire.

D.O. Manzanilla

The D.O. Manzanilla – Sanlúcar de Barrameda is located in the D.O. Jerez/Sherry/Xérès. The grapes and the production techniques are the same as for Sherry, but the wines are made in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

The wines are aged with “flor”, a living yeast, owing much to the microclimate of Sanlúcar: its milder temperatures and high level of humidity makes the production of this unique wines possible.

Location and climate
The Jerez wine region is located in the province of Cádiz. The production area is distributed in the municipalities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, Chipiona, Trebujena, Rota, Puerto Real, Chiclana de la Frontera and Lebrija.

Jerez de la Frontera is the biggest city and it is also the capital of the Jerez wine region. It is a modern city of approximately 200,000 habitants.

The weather is hot with Atlantic influences. The soil, called ‘albarizas’ are the key to produce quality wine. They absorb humidity and retain the water during the dry seasons.

Grapes used

White grapes varieties: Palomino (90%), Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel, Palomino fino, Palomino de Jerez.

Characteristics of the wines

The wines, made from Palomino grape must, have a pale yellow color, with floral aromas, are dry and fresh. The taste is light and has only a bit of bitter aftertaste.

The wineries are located in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Oloroso is elaborated with the varieties Tinta de Toro and Grenache (Garnacha). The wines have a pinkish color, are fresh and have fruity aromas with hints of red fruits.

Pedro Ximénez
The wines have a dark color and a characteristic taste of sweet, dried fruits (such as raisins, figs and dates).

The wines have a chestnut, brown colour, are dense and look similar to syrup. They combine the oloroso taste with the sweet of the Pedro Ximénez wines.

Important wineries in Sherry

  • Aecovi – Jerez. Featured wines: Alfaraz PX (100% Pedro Ximénez).
  • Álvaro Domecq, S.L. Featured wines: Fino La Janda, 1730 Vors Oloroso (100% palomino), Alburejo Oloroso (palomino), 1730 Pedro Ximénez (100% Pedro Ximénez).
  • Bodegas Barbadillo. Featured wines: Barbadillo Amontillado VORS (100% Palomino), Reliquia Amontillado (100% Palomino), Príncipe Amontillado (100% Palomino), Eva Cream (100% Palomino), Solear Manzanilla (100% Palomino), Manzanilla en Rama Seca de Invierno (100% Palomino), Barbadillo Oloroso Dulce VORS, Reliquia Oloroso (100% Palomino), Cuco Oloroso Seco (100% Palomino), Reliquia Palo Cortado (100% Palomino), Obispo Gascón Palo Cortado (100% Palomino), Barbadillo Palo Cortado VORS (100% Palomino), Reliquia Pedro Ximénez, La Cilla Pedro Ximenéz.
  • Bodegas Garvey Jerez. Featured wines: Asalto Amoroso Blanco , Oñana Amontillado, Amontillado Zoilo Ruiz Mateos, Tío Guillermo Amontillado, Flor del Museo Cream, San Patricio Fino, Juncal Manzanilla, Garvey 1780 VOS Pedro Ximénez, Garvey 1780 VORS Pedro Ximénez, Garvey 1780 VOS Oloroso, Garvey 1780 VORS Oloroso, Puerta Real Oloroso, Oloroso Zoilo Ruiz Mateos, Pedro Ximénez Zoilo Ruiz Mateos,  Ochavico Oloroso, Jauna Palo Cortado, Gran Orden Pedro Ximénez, Flor del Museo Oloroso.
  • Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosía. Featured wines: Gutiérrez Colosía Solera Familiar Amontillado, Gutiérrez Colosía Fino, Gutiérrez Colosía Solera Familiar Oloroso, Gutiérrez Colosía Solera Familiar Palo Cortado, Gutiérrez Colosía Pedro Ximénez, Gutiérrez Colosía Solera Familiar Pedro Ximénez.
  • Bodegas Harveys. Featured wines: Harveys VORS Amontillado, Harveys Bristol Cream, Harveys Fino, Harveys VORS Rich Old Oloroso, Harveys VORS Palo Cortado, Harveys VORS Pedro Ximénez.
  • Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana. Featured wines: Napoleón 30 Años VORS 50 cl. Amontillado, Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada, La Gitana Manzanilla, Farón 30 Años VORS 50 cl. Oloroso, Oloroso Añada 1986 Oloroso, Jerez Cortado Wellington 20 Años VOS Palo Cortado, Wellington 30 Años VORS 50 cl. Palo Cortado, Triana 30 Años VORS 50 cl. Pedro Ximénez, Triana Pedro Ximénez, Alameda Cream.
  • Bodegas La Cigarrera. Featured wines: la Cigarrera Pedro Ximénez, La Cigarrera Manzanilla.
  • Bodegas Osborne. Featured wines: Osborne Rare Sherry AOS Amontillado, Amontillado 51-1ª VORS, Osborne Rare Sherry Solera Blanco Crianza 200 Oloroso, Osborne Solera India Oloroso, Osborne Rare Sherry Solera PAP Palo Cortado, Osborne 1827 Pedro Ximénez, Osborne Rare Sherry Pedro Ximénez, Coquinero Amontillado, Santa María Cream, Fino Quinta, Cara de Gallo Manzanilla, Sibarita VORS Oloroso, 10 RF Oloro, Bailén Oloroso, Capuchino VORS Palo Cortado, Venerable VORS Pedro Ximénez.
  • Bodegas Pedro Romero. Featured wines: Don Pedro Romero VORS Prestige Amontillado, Aurora “Manzanilla Pasada”, Hijo de Pedro Romero Villareal VORS Prestige Palo Cortado, Don Pedro Romero VORS Prestige Oloroso.
  • Bodegas Teresa Rivero. Featured wines: La Sanluqueña Manzanilla.
  • Bodegas Terry. Featured wines: Terry Fino, Terry Amontillado, Terry Oloroso, Terry Pedro Ximénez.
  • Bodegas Tradición. Featured wines: Amontillado Tradición VORS Amontillado, Oloroso Tradición VORS, Palo Cortado Tradición VORS, Pedro Ximénez Tradición VOS.
  • Bodegas Valdivia. Featured wines: Valdivia Sun Pale Cream, Valdivia Dorius Amontillado, Valdivia Atrum Cream, Valdivia Fino, Valdivia Ámbar Oloroso, Valdivia Prune Oloroso, Valdivia Pedro Ximénez, Sacromonte 15 Años Amontillado, Teresa Rivero Manzanilla, La Rubia Manzanilla, Sacromonte 15 Años Oloroso, Sacromonte 15 Años Pedro Ximénez.
  • Delgado Zuleta. Featured wines: Monteagudo Palo Cortado, La Goya Manzanilla.
  • Dios Baco. Featured wines: Dios Baco Amontillado, Baco de Élite Medium Dry Oloroso, Dios Baco Oloroso, Oxford 1970 Pedro Ximénez, Baco Imperial VOS Amontillado, Baco Imperial 30 Años VORS Palo Cortado, Baco Imperial VOS 20 Años Pedro Ximénez.
  • El Maestro Sierra. Featured wines: El Maestro Sierra 12 Años Amontillado, El Maestro Sierra Viejo 1830 Amontillado, El Maestro Sierra Fino, El Maestro Sierra Oloroso, El Maestro Sierra 15 Años Oloroso, El Maestro Sierra Viejísimo Pedro Ximénez.
  • Emilio Lustau. Featured wines: Manzanilla Amontillada 1/21 Cuevas Jurado Amontillado, Botaina Amontillado, East India Cream, La Ina Fino, Puerto Fino, Jarana Fino, Papirusa Solera Manzanilla, Emilín Moscatel, Río Viejo Oloroso, Emperatriz Eugenia Oloroso, Península Palo Cortado, San Emilio Pedro Ximénez.
  • Equipo Navazos. Featured wines: La Bota de Amontillado (Bota No. 23), La Bota de Fino (Bota No. 18), La Bota de Fino Amontillado (Bota No. 24) – 98 Peñín Points, La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada “Bota Punta” (Bota No.20) – 99 Peñín Points, La Bota de Manzanilla (Bota No.22), La Bota de Palo Cortado (Bota No.21) – 98 Peñín Points.
  • Espíritus de Jerez. Featured wines: Colección Roberto Amillo Amontillado, Colección Roberto Amillo Oloroso, Colección Roberto Amillo Palo Cortado, Colección Roberto Amillo Pedro Ximénez.
  • Federico Paternina. Featured wines: Bertola 12 Años Amontillado, Bertola 12 Años Oloroso, Bertola 12 Años Pedro Ximénez, Bertola Fina.
  • Fernando de Castilla. Featured wines: Fernando de Castilla Manzanilla Classic, Amontillado Antique, Fernando de Castilla “Fino Antique”, Fernando de Castilla Fino Classic, Oloroso Antique, Palo Cortado Antique, Antique Pedro Ximénez, Premium Pedro Ximénez.
  • González Byass Jerez. Featured wines: Amontillado del Duque VORS, Viña AB Amontillado, Matusalem VORS Cream, Tío Pepe Fino, Alfonso Oloroso, Solera 1847 Oloroso, Gonzalez Byass Añada 1979 Palo Cortado, Apóstoles VORS Palo Cortado, Noé Pedro Ximenez, Néctar Pedro Ximénez.
  • Herederos de Argüeso, S.A. Featured wines: Argüeso Amontillado Viejo VORS, Argüeso Cream, Argüeso Moscatel, Argüeso Oloroso, Argüeso Pedro Ximénez, San León Reserva de Familia Manzanilla, San León “Clásica” Manzanilla, Las Medallas de Argüeso Manzanilla.
  • Hidalgo. Featured wines: El Tresillo Amontillado Viejo, La Panesa Especial Fino, Villapanés Oloroso.
  • La Alacena de Carlos Herrera. Featured wines: La Alacena de Carlos Herrera Fino, La Alacena de Carlos Herrera Manzanilla.
  • Sánchez Romate Hermanos. Featured wines: Old & Plus Amontillado, Old & Plus Oloroso, Old & Plus Pedro Ximénez, Iberia Cream, Marismeño Fino, NPU Amontillado, Romate Manzanilla, Ambrosía Moscatel, Don José Oloroso, Duquesa Pedro Ximénez.
  • Valdespino. Featured wines: Coliseo VORS Amontillado, Moscatel Viejísimo Toneles Moscatel, Solera Su Majestad VORS Oloroso, Cardenal VORS Palo Cortado, El Candado Pedro Ximénez, Don Gonzalo VOS Oloroso, Solera 1842 Oloroso, Tío Diego Amontillado, Ynocente Fino.
  • Vinícola Soto. Featured wines: Don José María Fino, Don José María Manzanilla, Don José María Oloroso, Don José María Cream.
  • Williams & Humbert, S.A. Featured wines: Dry Snack Fino, Dos Cortados Palo Cortado, Canasta Cream.

Details and numbers of Sherry

  • Areal: 9,100 hectares
  • Number of wine houses Sherry: 63
  • Production: 47,800 hecto liters
  • Sale: 25 % of the wines are sold in Spain, 75% are exported.
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