Wine Tourism in Jerez
One of the best products of Andalucia is the Jerez wine, the popular Sherry, as it is known in the English-speaking world, whose fame has transcended history, due to references to this wine in literature by authors as relevant as Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe.
Designation of Origin Jerez
Located in the northwestern part of Cadiz province, in the southernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula, lands included in the Designation of origin Jerez (Sherry) are between the Atlantic ocean and the Guadalete and Guadalquivir rivers.
In the so-called “Sherry Triangle” there are nine locations with vineyards assigned to the designation of origin, eight in the Cadiz province (Jerez, Puerto de Santa Maria, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Chiclana, Chipiona, Puerto Real, Rota and Trebujena) and one, Lebrija, that is in the province of Seville.
Wines and grapes of Jerez
In the Designation of Origin wines there are two main varieties:
These are wines where the maximum amount of sugar permitted is 5 grams per liter, so they are called dry wines.
In this class of wines there is the Manzanilla, the Fino, the Amontillado and the Oloroso, that is aged exposing it to oxygen with an alcohol content of 17º, and of course the special Palo Cortado, with a high variety of nuances.
These are all made with the Palomino grape variety, present in 95% of Jerez wine.
There are also other varieties such as the “generoso” liquor wines (fortified liqueurs), that arise from a diverse combination of generoso and sweet wines that surpass 5 grams of sugar per liter.
These are wines obtained from very mature grapes with a higher concentration of sugar; to preserve a large part of its sweet flavor, they are fermented only partially and aged thanks to direct air exposure.
We distinguish two sweet wines, the Moscatel, which is made only with this grape variety usually cultivated near the sea, and Pedro Ximenez, made from a grape with the same name and characterized by a high sugar concentration.
Some wine tourism activities in Jerez
The popularity of Sherry at the international level has resulted in the area attracting wine tourists for more than a century, mainly from the English-speaking world, which has brought a strong industry of touristic activities in this region.
In addition to the classic visits to wine cellars and the wine tastings, learning about the production methods of the diverse classes of Jerez wines and wine-pairings with dishes typical of the region, such as salmorejo, tuna, or the famous tortillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters), we can find in Jerez experiences such as lodging in country houses in the middle of the vineyards or combine the wine experience with cultural or ethnographic visits such as attending equestrian shows.
We can´t miss certain events organized by the designation of origin authorities to promote knowledge of these D.O wines such as the Sherry Festival, that has taken place since 2014 in different cities in Spain, or the Sherry Marathon, where athletic wine enthusiasts could enjoy the legendary race in an incomparable setting that combines the beauty of the Jerez city center with some of the most representative vineyard areas.
Jerez always has something new to amaze us, we await you for a one of a kind trip to this fascinating land, to discover its wines and not miss its rich gastronomy!