According to the Diario Jerez a breakdown of Osborne’s turnover shows that their spirits business represents about 55%, the Cinco Jotas ham about 35% and Sherry and wine only about 10%. It is a sad fact that there are many empty bodegas in El Puerto.
Bodegas Tradición held their traditional Evento Gastronomico during Vinoble in which press and professionals are invited to the immaculate bodega to partake of a seemingly never-ending supply of Sherry and gastronomic treats supplied in tapa form by a clutch of top restaurants.
This year’s Vinoble saw fewer foreign wineries represented, and it is felt among professional circles that the event would be better if the Ayuntamiento (town council) left the organisation in the hands of said professionals. It is a very important event for the city as it attracts thousands of members of the press and wine trade who all spend money in Jerez.
Alonso Ruíz, owner of Bodegas Urium, entertained a bunch of us in his inimitable way at the bodega. He was very proud of a single butt, a bota punta of his Fino solera which had lost its flor and gently begun to oxidise for about a couple of years before the sudden and unexpected reappearance of the flor. The result is delicious, a sort of Fino-Amontillado perhaps.
He also had a joke, funny but sad, about three bodegueros out for a drink. The first, from Rioja, asked for a good Rioja from a good vintage since that is what everyone drinks in Rioja. The second, from Ribera del Duero asked for a good Ribera del Duero from a good vintage as that is what everyone drinks there. The third, from Jerez, asks for a beer as that is what everyone drinks there…
There are interesting plans afoot for an international Sherry Marathon next year, the route of which will cover both the historic heart of Jerez and some of the vineyards. This is another way to take the seasonality out of wine tourism and attract more visitors. There are marathons everywhere these days.