A blog and review on all things Sherry. It is about tasting, enjoyment and learning more about the World’s Finest Wine. "Sherry is a thoroughbred" as Javier Hidalgo rightly puts it. Included are the amazing local Brandies and the remarkably good table wines also produced in the province of Cádiz.
Monte Testaccio on the Banks of the river Tiber
in Rome is famous for being an artificial hill built from the shards (testae)
of an estimated 53 million broken terracotta amphorae between the 1st
and 3rd centuries AD. It gives us a graphic picture of the scale of
Roman imports from the empire, especially of olive oil and wine – and of course
amphorae - a great deal of which came from Spain.
The amphora cemetry at Puerto Real as left by the road builders (foto:blogdruta.com)
Not so well known is that Puerto Real, not far
from Jerez, has its own “amphora cemetery” stretching from the town to the
banks of the river San Pedro. Unfortunately it has suffered damage from road
works. During the Roman era there was quite a sophisticated pottery industry here
producing amphorae from the high quality local clay in which to export wine and
oil to the known world.
A first century wine amphora (foto:EFE)
Many shards found in Rome and elsewhere bear the mark
“Vinum Gaditanum” or wine from Cádiz – Sherry. There are even records of the
price: the equivalent of €0.02 per arroba (16.66 litres)! The wine must have
been good for Julius Caesar is thought to have had a house in Jerez where he
drank the local wine with his friend Balbus and even gave it to his soldiers.