The most important and emblematic ceremony of the Fiestas de la Vendimia takes place today at 20.00 on the steps of the Cathedral, the building of which was paid for by a levy on wine. It is the traditional treading of the grapes symbolising the birth of the new wine. The event begins with the arrival of a group of young “harvesters” bearing baskets of grapes which they tip into the lagar. Here men who work for the Consejo Regulador will get to work rhythmically treading the grapes, supported by wooden spades. The juice flows from the spout of the lagar into jarras (jugs) which are duly poured into a couple of butts below. All this takes place to the sound of the municipal band playing the Harvest Hymn and the cathedral bells, while the Bishop of Jerez blesses the new must. It will be hot work; yesterday the temperature reached almost 45ᴼ and today will be about 38ᴼ (the all- time record is 45.1ᴼ from 2003). After fermentation the wine will go to the Consejo bodega San Ginés.
Japanese cocktail bartender, certified venenciador and owner of Cádiz Bar in Tokyo, Masaru Yokota, is visiting Jerez for the Vendimia celebrations in an intense tour organised by Tomoko Kimura, Jerez’ own Japanese Sherry expert. He has been demonstrating his bartending skills with Sherry and Jerez Brandy cocktails, his venencia skills at Lustau, picking grapes and tasting wines at bodegas La Gitana, Gutiérrez Colosía, Faustino González, Caballero, Diez Mérito and at the Consejo. Masaru has done much to promote the products of Jerez in Japan.