This time, a post for those visitors that would like to have a better idea of other wine regions during their visit to Spain. And what better than the Sherry (Jerez) wine region in southern Andalusia…
Spaniards believe that Phoenicians where the first traders that planted wine in southern Spain. In the ancient city of Gadir the oldest of Europe founded more than 3000 years ago and now called Cadiz, there’s a neighborhood called La Viña (The Wineyard). Few miles from Cadiz, the wine growing region of Jerez has unique oenological traditions which go back three thousands years and is the perfect destination for experiencing a big range of sensations.
The brandy and sherry frame is a small area of Cadiz province called El Marco de Jerez: imagine a triangle which edges are the towns El Puerto de Santa Maria, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera, blessed by 3200 sunlight hours per year and with a minimum winter temperature of 52 ºF (11 ºC). Jerez was called Sherish during the muslim times of Al Andalus. When Sir Francis Drake took the first sherry barrels to queen Elizabeth I, they gave that wine the old muslim-spanish name of the city of Jerez: sherry.
Unlike other regions of the world, cellars couldn’t be found in the countryside, but surprisingly right downtown, so imagine how the scent invades the streets… Some brands: Cardenal Mendoza, Lepanto, Gran Duque de Alba, Tradición, Matusalém, Sibarita; then some fino and Manzanilla table sherry wine brands: La Guita, La Gitana, Gabriela, Romate, Lustau, Tio Pepe.
The top experience is of course the guided visit including tasting session by one or two of the bi or sometimes tri-centennial wineries, where you may enjoy a description and the history of vintage brandymaking process. Some of the bodegas are a compulsory visit, for they are authentic temples where caldos mature into wine in silence.
As well as being the cradle of one of the most celebrated and international of Spanish wines and a mecca for coneisseurs, the region offers so many attractions like white sand long beaches with dunes, the view of Africa from the coast, the famous Andalusian mare farms and dancing horses shows. Horses and flamenco mark the life of the people from Jerez and southern Cadiz province. This peculiar stamp of identity is evident in the town traditions and fairs. On the occasion of the Horse Fair in May, the town and its inhabitants show their most festive side: you have to experience the horses parade yourself! More equestrian events are included in the Autumn festival.
You may contact one of the best tour guide teams of Andalusia to plan your trip: The Magic of Seville Tours (link to: https://www.themagicofseville.com) and his founder Francesco Soriquez.