Sunday, 5 February 2017

Bodegas: Manuel García Monge SA

This reputable bodega was founded in Sanlúcar at the end of the XIX century by Manuel García Monge (b.1862), and with help from his sons earned a good reputation for its Manzanilla Pipiola, among other wines. The firm owned vineyards at the Finca El Maestre in the Pago Mahina near Sanlúcar.

In 1918 they bought the old bodega owned since 1907 by Doña Carmen Giménez Flores (1867-1938). She was known as “La Infantona”, being the daughter of a shoemaker and a servant who became a wealthy viscountess being the lover of Prince Antonio de Orleans y Borbón. This bodega was originally the 1526 Hospital de San Juan de Dios in Calle Misericordia. After it ceased to be church property in the 1830s it had been converted for bodega use between 1867 and 1868 by the businessman and bodeguero Cipriano Terán Carrera who later sold it to Doña Carmen. Inside, there is a carved millstone set into a wall recording this. There was once an old chest here which had been used to carry gold from the Americas, and it had 14 locks and 14 bolts.

Manuel’s wife was María Gómez Porras, and after Manuel’s death in the 1940s she bought a beautiful house in 1947, along from the bodega in Calle San Juan, known as “Casa del Kilómetro 24”, once owned by the daughter of the bodeguero Carlos Otaolaurruchi. It was so named because it was 24 km from the Jerez Post Office.

María ran the business as Viuda de Manuel García Monge with her son Manuel García Gómez. He died in 1968 and his nephews Manuel and Diego García Olave took over as Herederos de Manuel García Monge. Diego was company secretary but died aged only 31 in 1978. The business was wound up with the bodega being sold to the owners of Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín, producers of La Guita, and it was later restored by the current owners, Grupo Estévez.  The Pipiola solera was sold to Sánchez Ayala. The La Montería solera now belongs to Francisco Yuste.

The 18th July 1936 was the day the Civil War broke out. Best to be on the right side.

Some of their brands were: Manzanilla Pasada Triunfal “La España Nueva” (Civil War bottling), Manzanilla Pasada La Montería (now Yuste), Fino Mahina (single vineyard), Manzanilla Amontillada Pipiola, Amontillado Navazo, Jerez Oro, also Anis, Brandy, Vermouth, even Málaga Wine.

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