Sherry Tio Pepe
La Gitana, drawn straight from the solera
Parador in Ronda
Acros de la Frontera
Pouring us a Reliquias PX at Barbadillo
Sherry & Andalucia
3 - 9 November 2014
Andalucía is startlingly beautiful with the Sierra Nevada rising dramatically from the sea. The area has mild winters which combined with the fascinating wines and a great tapas culture, makes it a perfect winter wine holiday in Andalucía! We explore the wines from the ‘sherry triangle’ of Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda.
First we are based in Jerez for three nights in a central Five Star hotel. There is free time to visit the Alcazar and La Colegiata, a church built with a mix of Gothic and Baroque as well the possibility to call into the stables of the famous Royal Andalucian Equestrian School.
Whereas other wines seen traditionally as aperitif material, such as Champagne which has enjoyed the last 20 years or so bathed in the sunlight of fashion, the wines of Jerez have been unjustly overlooked and under rated by many possibility due to a misconception of how versatile and varied the styles can be. Sherry is fascinating with a vast array of styles that can be drunk as aperitifs, digestifs and wines to accompany meals. This in-depth tour to includes visits to bodegas in two of the Sherry triangle’s principle towns, Jerez de la Frontera and Sanlucar de Barrameda. This is one tour that changes many clients perception of Sherry – so even if you think you know Sherry – come and join us to find out how wonderful sherry really is!
We’ll discover the popular Finos, zingy Manzanillas, nutty Oloroso and voluptuous PX, (‘a Christmas pudding of a wine’). There’s an instructive tasting with the Consejo Regulador and visits to top bodegas. At Lustau we’ll taste their Alcemenista sherries made by individual ‘stockholders’; and with Gonzalez-Byass, famous for their ‘elegant dry Tio Pepe’ Fino. Our special tasting will also focus on their rare and ancient sherries including the profound Methusalem Old Amontillado and Noé, the best of all of the ‘sticky’ P.X.
Next day we head to Sanlucar on the coast, where a tasting awaits us at Hidalgo. ‘La Gitana’, their outstanding Manzanilla, straight from the sherry-butt, is an ultimate in dry sherry. Because ‘La Gitana’ is so good, the other Hidalgo wines tend to be overlooked – a shame as they are superb and include rare styles such as Palo Cortado. We also visit the beautiful cellars of Barbadillo, to enjoy their salty fino and excellent range.
Leaving Jerez, we call into Arcos de la Frontera, one of the pueblos blancos which is perched high on the hill with stunning views over the valley. We move across to Ronda for our next two nights, where we stay in the Parador on the edge of the spectacular Tajo gorge. Ronda is a charming town, with some tempting shops as well as the interesting bull ring Museum (Ronda is known as the birthplace of bull fighting). From here we will visit some of the exciting wine estates that are reviving the fortunes of the vineyards around Ronda and are now producing some very interesting wines, both red and white from a mixed range of grape varieties. We have been visiting the excellent Friedrich Schatz for some years and look forward to revisiting him on the tour – to learn about his bio dynamic practises in his vineyards of amongst others, Petit Verdot and Lemberger.
On our 2013 Andalucía tour, we were very impressed with several of the other newer estates that are now producing in the region – and we will be also be visiting them to taste some exciting reds as well.
Our last night is spent in Malaga – a much under rated city with wonderful architecture and traditional Tapas bars as well as the wonderful Picasso museum.
You can choose to extend your Spanish wine tour with extra nights pre or post trip in Gibraltar or Malaga to visit the using the weekends on either side to turn this into a longer winter wine escape.
Read Cindy-Marie Harvey’s blog on Sherry & Andalucia from our 2013 visit!