Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Bodegas: Cayetano del Pino & Cia.

This small bodega was established in 1886 by Don Cayetano del Pino y Vázquez (1835-1918 ) a native of La Carlota, Córdoba. By 1858, aged only 23 he was showing prowess as a salesman and worked for a brand called "Antón Pericón. In Sevilla, he became acquainted with important contacts such as Alberto Romero and soon after Manuel de La Calzada, son of a popular banker. With their help he was able to realise his dream of establishing a bodega. On the 19th November 1896 the company of Cayetano del Pino y Compañía was founded and registered at Calle del Rosario, 16, Jerez.

The bodega was located at Plaza Cocheras, 3 and only four years later the firm moved to the Calle de Armas de Santiago into much bigger, more comfortable and very picturesque premises opposite the Tempul gardens. There were three main bodegas in the complex: San Bernabé, San Vicente and Santísima Trinidad, the latter being the site of the bottling and despatch. There was also machinery, cooperage, printing and distilling with a workforce of over 150 people, including a sales force. The bodega even had TWO telephones! In only a few years Cayetano had turned a dream into a modern bodega company up there with the Sherry barons. By 1900 he had nearly 600 labels.

In 1904 King Alfonso XIII visited the bodega which was an official supplier to the Royal Household.{He also took tea - yes, really! - at Domecq as well as visiting Gonzalez Byass}. In 1905 Cayetano's friend and fellow bodeguero Carlos Mauricio Morales Sevil proposed him for the Civil Order of Alfonso XII in recognition of his invention of the natural ageing of wines. (? I wish I knew!) The bodega was also winning medals for quality. It was also selling some brands from the defunct Bodega Cramp Suter & Co. under licence.

Cayetano del Pino Balbotin (Foto Jerez Siempre)
In the 1890s Cayetano married Bernabea Balbontín, born in Sevilla in 1869. They had two sons, and Cayetano del Pino Balbontin (1896-1935) ran the business successfully from the early XX century until his untimely death, when his brother Enrique, a noted footballer who played for Xerez Deportivo, took over. At this stage the bodega was still prominent with a considerable workforce. When Enrique died, his sisters ran the business with the help of an accountant, Jose Luis Sisto, and then in 1962, Cayetano’s children, Maria Jesus, Cayetano, Angel and Enrique del Pino Bohorquez took over.

By the end of the 1970s, the Sherry business had begun to contract along with wine consumption and many vineyards were grubbed up. That, along with management difficulties slowly converted this important firm into a much smaller almacenista. While the bodega is Registered at the Consejo Regulador as a bodega de Crianza y Expedicion, they operate principally as almacenistas, now from a smaller bodega at Plaza de Silos, 3, bought from Domecq in the 1990s. They also constructed a warehouse on the Carretera de Arcos. The firm remains in family hands: Cayetano del Pino Bohorquez is president, Gerardo del Pino Iñíguez is the manager assisted by his cousin José Enrique Otte del Pino who is the oenologist, and his brother Miguel Ángel as a director. Federico Merino looks after the accounts.

Racking around the turn of the century (Foto Jerez Siempre)

Some of their many older brands were:
Monja Quina, Ponche Pino, Coñac Pino, Manzanillas El Espartero and El Litri, Oloroso San Enrique, Amontillado Pasado Adela, Amontillado Fino Ladies, Amontillado Viva Sevilla!, Pedro Ximenez Extra Superior, Lagartijillo Palma Fina, and their special sparkling vermouth Santa Elena, all with beautiful colourful labels depicting either beautiful women or bullfighting scenes. They even offered a Port.

The bodega as it looks today in Plaza de Silos
For a while, their wines were available through Emilio Lustau’s Almacenista range. Currently their excellent wines are bottled for them by Sanchez Romate:

Palo cortado 1/15 (@15 yo) and a Palo Cortado Viejisimo 1/5 (over 35 yo),  Palo Cortado 1/10 @30 years old, Palo Cortado Solera at @ 20 years and Amontillado Solera aged over 20 years.

The wines are available in the UK from importers Ehrmanns, and in retail from the Wine Society (where the Viejisimo is a UK exclusive).

Visits? By previous appointment
Address: Plaza de Silos,3 11404 Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz)
Telephone: 956 345 736
Website: No.

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