Many of us are familiar with the name Sherry, but admittedly know little about the wine – or for that matter, the area that is famous for it. Jerez de la Frontera, or Jerez for short, is located in the Andalusia region of southwestern Spain. Wine has been made in this region since 1100 B.C., and is so ingrained in the culture that in present day terms Sherry and Jerez have largely become synonymous. This city of over 200,000 is the hub of the world Sherry trade, and has a fascinating cultural background – due in no small part to 500 years of Moorish influence.
Sherry is a fortified wine made from the Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, and Moscatel Romano grapes. As with most fortified wines, alcohols typically run 15-20%, which allows it to travel well, and accounts for its origins, as well as its longstanding popularity in the U.K. as an aperitif or with meals.
In this part of Spain, there are soils of lime, clay and sand, but in widely varying proportions, and mixed in pockets with small amounts of various minerals. The soils run from chalk white sand to very dark clay, which is considered important because lighter and darker soils produce somewhat representative colors of Sherry.
Join us as we delve into this region of Spain and explore the vineyards, wine, and culture of Jerez.