Archive for the ‘Jerez’ Category

Jerez

November 27, 2017

Whilst we are here in Seville, we are pretty close to Jerez or so it seems so why not take a day trip to Jerez? With a bit of research we found that a trip to Jerez, the home of sherry, was just a 55 minute train ride from Sevilla and that a couple of bodegas (wine tasting) were within a reasonable walking distance from the station, so we thought let’s do it.

Jerez is best known for its sherry, Andalucian horses, and flamenco as well as motorcycles apparently.

This time it was the high speed train we were on with no stops along the way, hence that is why it was such a relatively short journey time wise. We were in Jerez at the very pretty train station before we knew it.

The view from the platform

Inside the station

With the aid of Google maps we found our way to the first bodega that we had identified earlier. We arrived there just 10 minutes before their next tour and tastings were scheduled, did we wish to go on that tour culminating in a tasting session of 12 different sherries? Wow, that sounds pretty damn good to us. We waited for the tour to begin the the vine covered courtyard area.

I have to admit that looking back over the photos and trying to remember all that we were told on the tour through the winery and the process of making sherry, it has all become a bit of a blur…I blame all that tasting at the end of the tour!

The cathedral-like winery building has been used for the sherry making business for a few hundred years, they have been oriented specifically to ensure that the cooler moist west wind could pass though the buildings taking the warmer air out through the high windows which are positioned and shaped to keep the sun out with some having special curtains which can be moistened to cool the temperature as well as assisting with humidity. Sherry needs plenty of air to develop the yeasts that form to give sherry its characteristics. The floor is made of “albero” a rough sandy clay soil that absorbs humidity and is kept moist by spraying with water to reduce transpiration.

Barrels are lined up in long rows, just three barrels high with the young wines on the top going down to the older biological wines on the lower levels, with the winemaker choosing when to decant from one to another as the younger wine provides the yeast needed to develop the wine so it is constantly being tested, tasted and moved.

Table and stools set up for tasting sessions

Some of the different varieties of sherry and some barrels being repaired.

Through out the tour we were told of the differing varieties of sherry and how they are made. Now this is not the old style sweet “nana” sherry that you can buy by the flagon in NZ, it’s a very complex and varied style of wine. Personally, I particularly enjoy a very dry Fino sherry as an aperitif, and as well we particularly enjoy a Pedro Ximénez sherry – one of the main reasons we came to Jerez, to find out more about this dark, unctuous, delectable delight. After introducing my brother John and his partner Jude to Pedro (as we now refer to the drink) we all take great delight in sharing the old tipple or three!!!

Next it was on to the tastings, 12, tastings we are told…..phew, this is going to be fun, I had to get my notebook out to makes notes so that I would not forget what we were having. We started with the dry fino, then the amontillado, oloroso variants. Then we were given two vermouths to try, one white, one red, which they also make by adding various herbs to the different wines. Now they were both a surprise and we enjoyed them both. Then it was onto the Moscatel and then the Pedro Ximénez including a 30year old Pedro. One thing we did learn is that traditionally Pedro is usually served chilled from the fridge and warmed up to room temperature as you sip on it.

the glasses and wines lined up with my notebook at the forefront.

and the final two wines to try. Amazing!

Two very happy kiwis staggered out of the bodega later that afternoon, and yes, we did buy a little to bring home with us…….and yes, we may even allow you to share it with us John & Jude!!! Salud.

Just along the road we found this well known branda favourite tipple of my parents!

the Harvey’s Wine storage facility. However, we didn’t venture in as by this time it was late in the afternoon when most things close for a couple of hours, besides, we needed some sustenance.

and the orange trees lining the streets. We are told that all these oranges that line every street are ones you cannot eat which we presume are the Seville Oranges that are so good for marmalade.

We found a small cafe serving tapas near the train station and enjoyed three lovely dishes, this time comprising of braised Iberian pork cheeks, a cold potato salad and a mix of croquetas. They were each delicious and a pleasant surprise as the cafe was just a tiny wee place that looked a little weary but the food and service was fantastic.

Time for just a quick wander around before we head back on the train to Seville for our last night and yes, back to our favourite bar and restaurant just down the road from the apartment for another great night and the perfect end to another wonderful day.

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