Saturday, 14 February 2015

13.2.15 Ruiz Mateos; Misterio del Palo Cortado

José María Ruíz Mateos is in the news again. He and his son Francisco Javier have been ordered by a court in Madrid to pay out €92 million to reimburse creditors for shares in Nueva Rumasa made worthless by the company’s collapse.

The patriarch and his son, in trouble again (foto:reporterosjerez)

At the same hearing, the businessman Ángel de Cabo and his right hand man Iván Losada, who had bought Nueva Rumasa, were absolved since the removal of funds had happened before they bought the firm. A nephew of Ruíz Mateos was also absolved as he was not involved in any wrongdoing, but just worked for the company.

The film “El Misterio del Palo Cortado” premiered in Berlin last night. More than 200 people managed to get tickets before the “sold out” signs went up on the first day of sale. A curious mix of cinephiles and oenophiles watched the film as well as professionals from the world of sommeliers and gastronomy who had been invited by the bodegas and the Consejo. The Spanish Ambassador was also present.

Proudly produced by Antonio Saura and directed by José Luís López Linares, the film is the result of a few years’ research and hectic months of filming in such diverse places as Jerez, the Basque Country, Barcelona and Madrid. It is an important documentary which includes personal and professional contributions from those involved in bodegas, vineyards, cooperages and haute cuisine which combine to form a kaleidoscope of the experience of those involved in this most unique and singular wine universe.

The Spanish team toast the film in Berlin (foto: reporterosjerez)

At the end of the screening, the audience were able to enjoy some Sherry with food specially matched to the wines by the award-winning five Michelin Starred Spanish chef, Paco Pérez. He carefully chose the food to “make the Sherry shine”. “Making a film is an art, but so is making Sherry, and the menu demonstrates this.” Varied and sophisticated creations, made from crab and grouper fish as well as ice cream, were accompanied by emblematic Sherry brands such as Valdespino, Tradición, González Byass, Equipo Navazos and La Guita. Palo Cortado was, of course the main protagonist, but people were also able to try Manzanilla, Fino, Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez.

César Saldaña, director of the Consejo, was delighted with the attendance at the film and pointed out that it showed how important Sherry is in our culture and it engenders fascination in people of very diverse ways of life. He said that the film is a powerful tool to show Sherry to new generations of consumers through the lens of optimum quality.

Filming in Jerez
Antonio Saura said that the film arose from a crazy idea but that we are convinced that it will help spread the word about Sherry throughout the world. Many film festivals are interested now which shows the quality of the work, but above all the wine. There is no better example than Sherry of a product which needs time to reach fullness.  Being in Berlin signifies the removal of many barriers, in the ten years of its culinary cinema section this is the first film not to be inspired by a restaurant or a chef. It is the first about wine to be shown in Berlin.

The film’s director, José Luís López Linares, said that the film had 89 minutes in which to make the public fall in love with these unique wines, the starting point for a beautiful relationship of love and pleasure for the senses. The film team is a living example of how captivating is the world of Sherry. In fact they went from “No thanks, I don’t drink Sherry” to “Why isn’t there more Sherry on the table?”

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