Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Bodegas: Tomás Abad

The Abad family has been linked to Jerez since the days of the Reconquista in the XIII century. The first to arrive was admiral Ramón Bonifaz in 1248 after the area was won back from the Moors, and the family remained there among those invited by King Alfonso X to repopulate the area in 1264. They came from the Barcenamayor area in the mountains south of Santander and were thus, like their compatriots, known as “montañeses”, many of whom came to the Jerez area, and many, like the Abad family, have had long connections with the Sherry business.

3 generations of the Abad family: L-R- Cecilio, Tomas snr. and Tomas jnr.

Members of the wider family continued coming over the centuries, and Cecilio Abad Pérez arrived in 1899 after inheriting the estate of his uncle, Francisco Abad Martín, who had considerable interests in Jerez, principally land and property. Tomás Abad Caballero, born in 1895 in Barcenamayor, was the son of Cecilio and his wife Genoveva Caballero y de Viaña. He had a brother, Francisco, and a sister, Petra, and together they inherited bodegas in Calle Berrocales, 3 and the vineyards Cabeza de la Aceña, Pantanar and El Paraiso from their parents. They also inherited houses including the Casa Piedras Negras and its adjoining bodega in the Calle Francos, 44 and 46. This palatial house had been the property of Antonio Abad Romano de Mendoza, mayor of Jerez in 1838.

Inside the Abad bodega

Here Tomás Abad began his activities in the Sherry business and in 1949 he founded an exporting business under the name Tomás & Francisco Abad Caballero with the registered office at Calle Doctrina, 6 and joined the Sherry Shippers Association. In 1955 he changed the registered office address to Ronda Del Palenque, 1 where he had bodegas and in 1969 he changed the company name to Tomás Abad SA. He died in 1980 and his family ran the business until 1999 when they sold out to Emilio Lustau which was in turn owned by Luis Caballero. The wines were moved to Lustau's bodegas in Calle Arcos and the Abad bodegas were sold to a construction firm which built flats on the site. The Tomás Abad brand name is still used by Lustau in the export markets and as a sous-marque.

Interestingly, in 1877 María del Carmen Abad y Balbás, perhaps an aunt of Tomás, married one José de Soto Ruiz at the church of San Dionisio in Jerez. The Soto family were also originally montañeses and owned vineyards and bodegas. María del Carmen did too and this greatly expanded the firm of José de Soto which passed to their son, José de Soto Abad.

Among the Tomás Abad wines were: Fino Maravilla, Fino Predilecto, Amontillado Santanderino, Oloroso Superior, Palo Cortado Solera 1890 and they also sold brandy, Piedras Negras Rum and quina.

Thanks to Jose Luis Jimenez for info and pictures

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