Monday, 30 December 2013

Ageing in Jerez: The Solera System

Up till now, the wine-making process has been pretty similar to that of other wines, except for the fortification, but now comes the process which makes Sherry the wine it is: ageing in Solera. There are a few wines which are not aged in Solera - the Anadas or Vintage Sherries - which age "statically" in the same butt till ready, but these are pretty rare, and very expensive. The key to Sherry is "dynamic ageing", where the wine flows from butt to butt. The word "Solera"  comes from the fact that the butts containing the oldest, finished wine are at floor ("suelo") level.

After wine is drawn from the solera for blending and/or bottling, more wine is needed in the system to replace it and refresh what remains, so butts from the Sobretablas or the Anadas are used to supply it. These are young wines, perhaps 6 - 8 months old, which have been classified so they go to the correct solera. The Solera System is almost unique to Sherry, and while it is complex, it produces an incredibly consistent wine. Each style of wine has its own solera, so there are many, and each one is worth a fortune. There are even one or two which date from the XVII century! As the wine is constantly moving through the system, however, very little remains of the ancient wine except the character it imparted to the Solera. Some brands of Sherry include the date of the Solera's foundation, (eg Gonzalez Byass Solera 1847) but this should not be mistaken for a vintage date. Only bottles labelled "Anada" will have a vintage date. Sherry only has an average age, which can be amazingly old, easily between 60 and 100 years!




Above is a schematic Solera system. "Saca" is the withdrawal of wine, "Rocio" is topping up the butt. The process is known as "running the scales". As you can see in the diagram, the finished wine is withdrawn (never more than a third of the butt, in order to retain the style of the wine) and topped-up from the first Criadera, which is itself topped-up from the second Criadera etcetera. Each Solera system consists of a Solera, the bottom row of butts, and a widely varying number of Criaderas depending on the type of wine. An old Jerez Oloroso, for example might have three Criaderas, while a Manzanilla Solera in Sanlucar might have up to twenty-five. This constant Saca and Rocio means the older wine is constantly refreshed with younger wine, while giving to the younger wine its character and complexity. Before topping up each butt, the wines from the previous criadera will be blended together, ensuring greater consistency.

There are two distinct types of Sherry: wines aged "biologically" under a layer of Flor yeast (the Finos and Manzanillas), and wines aged "oxidatively" without that layer of Flor (Olorosos). There are of course some wines which are aged in both ways (Amontillados and Palos Cortados). The Flor provides a barrier to air coming into contact with the surface of the wine, keeping it pale in colour and fresh, and imparts to it complex, bitter flavours and aromas such as dried flowers, camomile, dough, bitter almond, olive brine etc. Wines without Flor are exposed to the air and oxidise gently, which creates deeper, mahogany colours, and a nuttier, fuller, oxidised character. The butts normally have a capacity of 600 litres, but are only filled to 500 litres (or 36 arrobas, a local measure) to allow headspace for either Flor or air to work its magic. Much to the Scotch Whisky Industry's despair, the butts are never replaced - they may be repaired, but never replaced, so some are very old indeed, and with good reason.


Especially with the Finos and Manzanillas - the Flor wines, replacing or renewing butts would adversely affect the wine. Sherry is not like fine Claret, for example, aged in new barrels every year to add complexity of flavour. The Flor yeast is constantly renewing itself, and requires the special conditions found in old butts: humidity, stable temperatures, and an alcohol level of not more than about 15.5% vol. Bodegas are often sprayed with water to conserve coolness and humidity and thus protect the Flor. As the Flor renews itself, dead yeast cells sink to the bottom of the butt, and over time, a thick layer of these cells builds up. They decompose in a process called "autolysis", which adds even more complex flavours to the wine - savoury, toasty, even slightly cheesy. Naturally, the butts need to be cleaned out occasionally, but great care is exercised to minimise any disturbance to the Flor. The longer the wine is in contact with these lees, the more complex its character, so Finos and Manzanillas sold at average three years old (the minimum age) have very little of it, but older wines, say average five years up to ten or more have much, much more. Manzanilla Pasada for example, and also wines bottled "en rama" - with minimal filtration.

Flor consists of a few varieties of naturally occurring saccharomyces (sugar-eating) yeasts. They settle on the new wine and feed on the various nutrients it provides such as glycerol ( a substance created during ferm- entation which gives a rounder implied - but not real - sweet feel to the wine), acetic acid (any vinegary traces), dissolved oxygen, alcohol itself. In turn it creates acetaldehydes, which give Finos and Manzanillas much of their flavour, and gives off some carbon dioxide. The lack of glycerol in these wines gives them that super-dry feel, and they don't have much of the "legs" or "tears" which run down the glass.

As wines age in the Solera system, the alcoholic strength rises slightly and gradually, because of transpiration of water from the wine. Losses in liquid volume are between 3-4% per annum. The Flor wines are most affected because this inexorable rise in strength will slowly kill off the Flor, allowing oxidation and the wine's gradual transformation to Amontillado. If a Fino or Manzanilla loses its flor for some reason, it will be fortified to 17 or 18% and become an Oloroso. Running the scales regularly is therefore vital, as the younger wine is of a slightly lower strength, and the act of moving the wine provides fresher yeast and some oxygen to nourish the Flor. The scales should be run regularly for another reason. The wine is constantly ageing, and to leave too big a gap between sacas would create an age difference between the last one and the latest one. So if you do your saca every six months, for example, you will always have to do it every six months to keep the wine consistent.

Once the wine has completed its journey through the solera system, it is ready for bottling as a straight Fino or Oloroso for example, or ready for blending. While some brands are aged in solera as a blend from the start, most are blended after the solera. A Cream Sherry is usually a blend of Oloroso with Pedro Ximenez, wines from at least two soleras. Bristol Cream is a more complex blend, though not necessarily better, which includes Amontillado. The more commercial cheaper supermarket wines are blended down to a price the supermarket wants to pay, and consist of various wines of varying quality. Beware the "Amontillados" which contain little if any real Amontillado. In this context, "Amontillado" is a medium wine, where in fact it is a dry wine of good quality. Pale Cream is a blend of Finos and rectified concentrated must (grape juice boiled down to lose much of its water content, but keep its pale colour.

The future of Sherry depends in part on the removal from the market of the cheap blends which people associate with vicars or grandmothers (though they still form a fairly large proportion of many bodegas' business - if not very profitable) and the resurgence of the natural styles of Sherry.





Sunday, 29 December 2013

29.12.13 Sherry Cosmetics; Jerez Olive Oil

A range of cosmetics made from Sherry grapes has been launched.  According to Jose Manuel Gavilan, commercial director of SkinWine Laboratories, research at the universities of Madrid, Seville and Cadiz has proved the efficacy of the products just in time to help celebrate Jerez City of Wine 2014.


What makes SkinWine products different is that they have two new natural properties: AHS (Alpha Hydroxy Sherry), which acts to rejuvenate the skin, and a Sherry Polyphenol Pool which fights free radicals which cause ageing of the skin. The firm is making use of otherwise under-used by-products of winemaking in Jerez.

Jerez, famous for Sherry, is now working on regaining its position as a major olive oil producer. Throughout the ages both oil and wine were equally important, but after the massive growth of wine from the XVIII century, olive oil got left behind as growers turned to more profitable grape production.

(Imagen Diario Jerez)
There are currently over 3,000 hectares of olive groves in the area, and at least seven firms producing oil, mostly from the Arbequina and Hojiblanca varieties, though Lechin, Manzanilla and Picual can also be found. These firms have decided to join forces to promote their product as “Aceite de Oliva de Jerez” (Jerez olive oil). While olive oil is nothing new in the area, most of these firms are, and they have connections to the wine business, with many olive groves interspersed with vineyard. This is partly because of the recent uprooting of vineyard to reduce Sherry production to match sales. 

28.12.13 Various Items of News

Last night Gonzalez Byass hosted the annual charity dinner for the Reyes Magos (the three Kings or Magi) at their bodega Los Apostoles. Each year three people are chosen to dress up as the three Kings, Melchor Gaspar and Baltasar, and distribute sweets to children in the streets on the night of the 5th January. All those attending the dinner who had previously done their royal duty received a gift from the Reyes Magos Association, as well as advice from past masters.

(Reyes Magos past & present, Imagen Diario Jerez)

The High Court has annulled another fine imposed on Jerez by the Spanish equivalent of the Office of Fair Trading. This one was for 22,000 euros and was imposed on COAG, an agricultural organisation, for allegedly fixing grape prices with bodegas. Luckily the Court seems to have a better understanding of how the wine trade works.

Journalist Javier Benitez has written a book about Sherry for children, published by Peripecias Libros and approved by the Consejo Regulador. The protagonist is a mouse called Balti who, along with another, English, mouse called Monti, discovers how things work in a bodega. The book is illustrated by fellow Jerezano Jose Juan Romero, and is sold under the title "Balti: Aventura en la Bodega. It will hopefully prove useful to Jerezano children who have little understanding of their heritage.

(The author with Consejo Director Cesar Saldana and book Imagen Diario Jerez)

Gonzalez Byass Cuatro Palmas has received 97 points from Robert Parker, and has been rated among the best wines tasted by the organisation in 2013. Parker recently appointed a new man to cover Spanish wine, Luis Gutierrez, who pointed out the quality of the other wines in the Palmas range, awarding 90 to the Una Palma, 91 for the Dos Palmas and 95 for Tres Palmas. It makes a pleasant change to have a Spaniard tasting the Spanish wines, someone who has a better understanding and capacity for criticism than his predecessor.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

24.12.13 Feliz Navidad!

Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all, and thank you for your support. It is much appreciated.

Salud! Brindis! Felicidades! Sherry! Mas Sherry!

Feliz Navidad y prospero Ano Nuevo a todos!

Old Harvest Medium Dry PX 17%, Ximenez Spinola

Appearance
Light amber/old gold through gold to a trace of green at the rim, legs.
Nose
Aromatic, different, charming. A honeyed sweetness with lots of dried fruit - raisin, obviously, but amazingly fresh, nothing like the big black sweet PX wines, some quince jelly, trace oxidative notes and wood, cinnamon, fragrant, quite different to normal (palomino) Sherry, and most attractive.
Palate
Medium-dry, decent tangy acidity balances the sweetness, so doesn't cloy, that quincey-raisin flavour predominates with slight notes of gingerbread, broader, fatter in style to the palomino wines, with perhaps a little more texture, lovely and clean with a very long finish. Delicious, really friendly.
Comments
XS uniquely only make Sherry from PX, and this is a blend of dry oxidatively aged wine from a solera laid down in 1964, and resembling an oloroso, with sweet wine from a solera laid down in 1918 whose wine’s average age is 25 years. Wine is drawn from both soleras (though more from the oxidative solera) and blended by a family tasting panel (rather than by any preconceived proportions) a year before bottling and married in butts till ready. 10,145 bottles were produced in this batch.
One should remember that PX does not have to be sweet, it is just a grape like all the rest and it depends what you do with it. After all the entire production of Montilla-Moriles is PX, but the wines range from pale dry Finos through to intensely sweet PX.
This wine would be lovely with a fairly youg sheep's milk cheese or possibly a crema catalana (creme brulee).
Price About 22 Euros in Spain for a 50cl bottle. As far as I know it is not available in the UK, but you could try topselection.co.uk. Its is a pity it is hard to obtain, but then it  is a very small bodega with private clients as well as trade ones.




Wednesday, 18 December 2013

18.12.13 New Sherry Cheese; Peter O'Toole in Jerez

A new goat’s cheese has been launched in a joint project between Queseria El Gazul, based near Jerez, and bodegas Gonzalez Byass. The cheese, made from organic Payoyo goats’ milk has been aged for 45 days in Solera 1847 Cream Sherry, and offers a whole new style of cheese which is totally Jerezano. It represents a whole new, slightly bittersweet flavour, sophisticated and delicious. The Sherry cleans the palate and offsets the fats in the cheese, resulting in an exquisite gastronomic experience. Previous experiments were mentioned here some months ago, and now we have the finished  - and excellent – product.




The late British actor Peter O’Toole came to visit Jerez in March 1962, during a break in filming of Lawrence of Arabia in Seville. He was very taken with the wines of Williams and Humbert, where he signed a butt, as did his co-stars Alex Guinness and Anthony Quayle.

(Info & foto JL Jimenez)

Friday, 13 December 2013

13.12.13 Flamenco Fashion Show 2014; Vendimia Posters at Consejo

The 2014 Mercedes Benz Flamenco Fashion Show will take place in Gonzalez Byass on the 6th – 9th of February.  This will be the 7th year of the successful show which keeps getting bigger despite the crisis. Eighteen brands will present their wares which include jewellery and leather goods. The Flamenco costumes represent the south and its people at their best – at the Fiesta, but at the same time they provide work and fun in difficult times.




The Bodega of San Gines next to and belonging to the Consejo Regulador in Jerez is, as of yesterday, the new home of a collection of original old Fiesta de la Vendimia posters from 1948 – 1985,  a golden age for Sherry. The posters have been given to the Consejo by Fedejerez, the bodegas’ association so that the public can see them, as they form a part of the patrimony of Jerez. Evaristo Babe, president of Fedejerez, said that the values of the past which the posters represent will give us inspiration for the future.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bodegas: Marques del Real Tesoro

In March 1760, His Excellency Don Joaquin Manuel de Villena Guadalfajara Rodriguez de Manzano y Nieto, Lieutenant General of the Royal Spanish Armada (Navy), was appointed Marques de Real Tesoro (Royal Treasure) by the King, Carlos III. This was a new title, and it was bestowed on him because he had defeated a group of pirate ships attacking his fleet, which was carrying royal treasure from South America. As the fleet ran short of munitions, he ordered that his own silver be melted down and used to make more. The resultant glorious victory was rewarded by a grateful king with the honour.


After his death the title languished, and it was in 1897 when King Alfonso XIII bestowed it on the original Marques’ grandson, Juan Jacome y Pareja, Vice Admiral and Minister for the Navy, who went on to use the title as a brand name for his Sherries, establishing a bodega in 1904. The first soleras were acquired from the Marques de Villacreces, wines nearly two centuries old which were rightly famous. Soon the firm was supplying wines to the Royal Household. The bodega, in the calle Pajarete in Jerez contained 5,000 butts, and another in Sanlucar, 2,000.

Jose Estevez bought most of the firm, by now called Herederos del Marques del Real Tesoro, in 1982, completing the purchase in 1989. He already owned Ruiz, and went on to acquire Valdespino, M Gil Luque and La Guita forming the family owned Grupo Estevez. He constructed a completely new bodega complex to accommodate Real Tesoro and Valdespino, along with laboratories, offices and bottling lines on the old Circunvalacion road immediately outside Jerez. The group as a whole is now the third biggest Sherry producer.


The bodega owns 186 hectares of vineyard, much of it in the top pago of Macharnudo, and a further 220 which it controls. Estevez as a whole owns around 800 hectares.  65% of the Real Tesoro wine is exported. The bodegas have stables where Spanish thoroughbreds are reared, there is also an art collection which includes tapestry and lots of Picasso, and a bodega dedicated to Lola Flores, the famous singer and actress from Jerez. There is even a carriage museum.

The firm’s excellent Fino Tio Mateo, once owned by Palomino & Vergara, has its soleras here, as does one of the best Amontillados, del Principe, and their Oloroso Almirante. The firm conducts exhaustive scientific research. They looked into histamine, for example, an organic substance found in products made by fermentation, which can cause bad reactions in certain people. They have managed to reduce histamine content in Tio Mateo to almost nil by a process which is still secret, but at least you can drink this excellent Fino without worrying about headaches. Music is played in the bodegas to investigate if it has a beneficial effect on the flor, or indeed the wine. You can hear it on the website, but that’s yet to be proved, and they are also looking for the flor genome. Equipo Navazos bottled some of the old Real Tesoro PX originating from Manuel de Argueso.  

There is a basic range of Real Tesoro Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Dulce
Then there is the better range: Manzanilla La Bailaora, Fino Tio Mateo, Amontillado del Principe, Oloroso Almirante, Royal Cream, PX Viejo, and the amazing Oloroso Covadonga VORS.

This is a really good bodega to visit as there’s lots to see. They offer weddings, baptisms etc as well.
Address: Ctra. Nacional IV, Km 640, 11408 Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz
Telephone: 956 321 004

Internet: www.grupoestevez.es

11.12.13 Lustau Wins Another Award

The export director of Bodegas Emilio Lustau, Ignacio Lopez de Carrizosa, sees a growing interest in fine Sherries in the English speaking world, as well as in Asian countries and Russia. Since Lustau specialises in fine Sherry, it is in a good position. Sales are already around 45,000 12 bottle cases per year, and last year showed an increase in turnover of 8%. Nearly all of this went worldwide, with only 6 or 7% of sales in Spain.

Mr Lopez de Carrizosa was speaking to EFE after Lustau was presented with the Sherry Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for their Pedro Ximenez VORS, of which only around 1,000 bottles are released annually.  Lustau chief oenologist Manuel Lozano has won the best fortified wine maker award for five years in succession.

The bodega has a good network of international importers, but is seeing growing interest in more distant markets such as Japan, Korea, China and the Philippines. Their agent in Russia has managed to position the wines in a super luxurious wine and spirit chain.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

8.12.13 Chiclana Wines; Day of the Must Near Jerez

Preparations are underway to make a better job of promoting the wines of Chiclana than was achieved last year at the annual Feria de San Antonio in June. During the 4 day festival, local products are widely available at the stands in the streets of the fairground of Las Albinas, where there is also lots of flamenco and horses.

There is a local council subsidy for the stands to promote Chiclana wine, which has to be applied for and granted, and last year only 35% of them received it, and products from other areas are creeping in. This year, a new promotional campaign is being prepared by the association of bodegueros supported by the municipal development department. They aim to promote the local wines to the locals, as much as visitors, under the banner of “En Chiclana, Vinos de Chiclana”.


Chiclana wines are made in eight bodegas in the town, and are like Sherry – many are – and they make styles such as Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Moscatel. Well worth looking out for.



Yesterday was the X Day of the Must in the country neighbourhood of Las Tablas near Jerez. People come from all over the province of Cadiz to the school square, which is surrounded by a sea of parked cars and the smell of multiple barbeques. Here they indulge in a glass of the new wine, served from a butt in the centre of the square, and something to eat. It is a great family day out.


Meanwhile, inside the school, members of the Consejo Regulador hold a tasting of the 44 new wines, eventually selecting 3 winners which will be given trophies and diplomas. The new wines are not from big bodegas, but have been made by locals at their own houses. The local cabbage and garlic is also up for tasting, but according to the mayor, there are finite quantities available, and every year more people come. Stands offer other delicacies too, such as chacina (seasoned  pork) and chicharrones (fried pork rind strips), with long hungry queues.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Oloroso Pata de Gallina 20%, Lustau Almacenista

Appearance
Deep, dark amber, mahogany through yellow to a hint of green at the rim, legs.
Nose
Delightful, complex and fresh with quite sweet aromas of walnut in syrup which neatly balance with toasted almond, hints of wood, autumn leaf litter. There are traces of spiced orange, cinnamon, garrapiñadas, nut oil and turron de yema tostada.
Palate
Beautifully rounded, just off dry with mostly implied sweetness, gentle, fairly nutty and quite light. Supremely elegant and deeply flavoured with all the above and a gentle tang, and a very long clean finish.
Comments
Another excellent wine from Lustau's Almacenista range, scoring 91 Parker points. This wine comes from the almacenista Juan Garcia Jarana, a bodega established over 100 years ago. This is his oldest solera, and contains 100 butts. In his spare time he imports Japanese motorcycles! The term Pata de Gallina (hen's foot) comes from a cask marking of that description, and means an oloroso which is especially smooth and glyceric on the palate.
Price
Around £21.00 (50cl) in the UK. Available in many fine wine shops or imported by Fields, Morris & Verdin. For other countries try winesearcher.com.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

3.12.13 New Wine Celebrated in Sanlucar

Over 50 local hotel, restaurant and bar owners assembled at bodegas La Guita in Sanlucar recently to celebrate the end of the fermentation. The new wines will now begin to clarify themselves now that the cold weather has arrived, and a lot of “mosto” is available in bars taking part in the Ruta del Mosto. The tasting at La Guita was followed by the traditional lunch. The celebration of the must takes place around St Andrew’s day all over the region.

"Hosteleros" at La Guita (+Jerez)

Monday, 2 December 2013

Lost Bodegas: Ivison

There is a long history behind the Ivison family. They were Scots descended from Vikings. Many centuries ago, the Vikings came in their longships and colonised British shores, and it is known that Ragnar Lodbrog, king of Denmark and Jutland united these territories, as well as the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden under his crown. On his death in AD 749, he divided his territories among his three sons, Sigburg, Ragnar and Ivar. The latter received western Norway and Sweden, York, Northumbria and the south of England. These sons, of course had the surname Ivarsson, which over time became Ivison.

At the end of the XVI century, the Ivison family, who were mostly merchants, suffered very hard economic times and were forced to emigrate to seek better fortunes. Some came to Spain, and the first we know anything concrete about was Fletcher Ivison Parke. He was born in Kingsmorehouse, Cumberland in 1796 to a well to do family originally from Scotland, though of Viking descent. He set up in Gibraltar at the beginning of the 19C as a merchant, and soon settled on the export of Sherry. Successful, he decided to move to Cadiz. He married Francesca Giovanna Viale y Mossa, who was of of Italian descent. Their son Ricardo Carlos Ivison y Viale was sent to school in England aged 12, and when he was old enough, distributed samples of the firm’s wines there.

Ricardo carlos Ivison Viale (Imagen Jerez Siempre)
In 1838/1840 Fletcher Ivison bought a bodega in Puerto Real and called his firm Fletcher Ivison & Co. When he died in Puerto Real in 1856, his son Ricardo Carlos, already expert in Sherry, returned from England, and in order to streamline the exports, decided to consolidate all the firm’s affairs in one place, building large bodegas at Calle Pizarro, 7 in Jerez, close to those of Wisdom & Warter, under the name RC Ivison & Son. He bought soleras, including one oloroso from 1846. He was an admirer of the wines of Sevilla, similar but slightly stronger, and sometimes put inferior wines into a special bodega with a low galvanised iron roof and with little ventilation to hasten their development.

He also bought vineyards in the Pago Tizon, north-west of Jerez in good albariza soil, which were called Santa Petronila, named after his wife, Petronila Pastor. The business continued to prosper. His three sons inherited the business, calling it RC Ivison & Co, and later it was run by his elder son Jose Eduardo Ivison y Viale, who renamed it RC Ivison. 

Casa de la vina Vina Petronila
He later broke away from the family firm to run of the Jerez side of the London firm of FW (Federico Guillermo) Cosens & Co. around 1848, securing bodegas in the Calle San Domingo in El Puerto de Santa Maria. Meanwhile Ricardo Ivison y de Arcos was the last in the family to conduct important business, especially with England and Ireland, always in branded containers. He was exporting brands such as a fino called Delicado, an oloroso Cream called V.O.X. and a PX Viejisimo called Matusalen.


His brother, Francisco Ivison O’Neale, a fellow grandson of the founder, was a noted chemist who was at the forefront in the development of wine and brandy production, and Ivison was one of the earliest brandy producers, who by 1880 had large stocks of French style brandy which they exported as La Marque Speciale, as it was more expedient to market the new brandy under a French sounding name.

When Cosens faced problems after the founder’s death in 1899, one of Jose Eduardo’s sons, Jose Enrique Ivison O’Neale took over the ailing firm, becoming sole proprietor and renamed the firm JE Ivison O’Neale at the end of the 1920’s.

A view of the bodegas (foto:jerezsiempre)
In 1964, the Ivison family sold the firm, lock stock and barrel to Wisdom and Warter which was owned by Gonzalez Byass, and which was run by Enrique Isasi Ivison. He had the distinction of being the great grandson of both the founder of Gonzalez Byass and of Ivison. W&W continued with the business at the same address, at least until the 1970’s.Various standard brands were marketed, eg Fino, Manzanilla etc. but the Ivison brand trademark expired in 1998. Matusalem (as it is now called) is now a brand of Gonzalez Byass and sold as a VORS.

Now out of the Sherry trade, members of the Ivison family, which has such deep roots in the area - up to 400 years- and has intermarried like so many with other well-known Sherry families, have made names for themselves in various fields, such as broadcasting (Carlos Vergara Ivison) and law (Pedro Ivison y de Arcos and Ignacio Vergara Ivison, who was Dean of the College of Lawyers in Jerez). They have high social standing, and are very friendly with the Spanish Royal family. Pedro's sister Petronila (known as "Tola") used to be the organiser of the Fiesta de la Vendimia. Paz Ivison Cabrera is a well-known journalist and one of the Sherry Educators.The family had a beautiful house in the Calle Bizcocheros.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

1.12.13 The "Sherry Chef" Gets Another Michelin Star



Javier Muñoz, owner/chef of the top Jerez restaurant La Carbona has been awarded a Michelin Star for the second year running. Not bad for a man of only 30 years of age, who uses Sherry wherever possible in his cuisine, and who was therefore described as the “Sherry Chef” by the Financial Times, a nickname of which he is proud. His restaurant is in an old bodega, and has not only real character, but amazing food.