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.
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.
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.
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.
White grapes varieties: Palomino (90%), Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel, Palomino fino, Palomino de Jerez.
The wineries are located in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
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