Starting on Tuesday the Fiesta Gastronómica de la Vendimia will take place on the Alameda Vieja, the jacaranda-lined area round the Alcázar in Jerez. It runs till Saturday the 19th inclusive and is open all day with live music at 23.00 each night, with the great Diego Carrasco playing on the last night. A tapa and a drink will be available for €3.50 and no fewer than 16 bars and restaurants will have a stand showing off their specialities.
At the III edition of González Byass Sherrymaster, Pedro Ballesteros MW (Spain’s first Master of Wine) gave an impassioned tutored tasting of Sherries going back over 100 years. He said that Jerez was in the middle of a revolution but not enough producers were taking advantage of their wines’ ageing potential or their terroirs. He said that they should move away from mass-market wines and concentrate on small batch wines from single vineyards or even parts of the vineyards, and not lose their intimate knowledge of them.
He said that en rama wines were now fairly common but he would like to see an unfortified Sherry and the wines recognised as “Fine Wine.” He said that González Byass were going about things in the right way, in fact it could be said that they were the “Silicon Valley of Jerez.” Regarding ageing potential, he said that there is a market for the older wines among the “frikis” or Sherry nuts, who will be delighted to know that GB has announced the forthcoming release of the Añada 1987. GB’s oenologist Antonio Flores said that vintage wines need to be bottled at 27-28 years of age before they become too woody and can continue development in bottle.