Thursday, 23 March 2017

23.3.17 Osborne to Digitalise Archives; Growth in Premium Sherry Sales Predicted

The bodega has already begun to digitalise 20,000 documents, some dating back over 200 years, and some bearing famous XIX century signatures. One was Washington Irving, the American writer and diplomat famous for “Tales of the Alhambra” which he finished while staying with the Osbornes.  On his return to the United States he offered to act as an ambassador for the family’s Sherries. Another was Fernán Caballero, the pen name of writer Cecilia Böhl de Faber, whose father was capataz at Osborne, and Isaac Peral of the Spanish Navy who invented the first submarine to fire torpedoes. The archive also includes letters from European royal households, the Vatican and one from an English army captain in Jamaica ordering some Solera India.

The first step of the digitalisation project has been carried out using Telefónica’s Talentum programme by which a group of ten young students, carefully selected from various disciplines such as engineering, history and information technology have three months to delve into the archive, which also includes account books. So far 300 of these fascinating records have been digitalised, and can be seen on the Fundación Osborne website

Forecast volumes of Premium Sherry (source IWSR)

According to the International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR) volumes of premium Sherry could grow 18% by 2021. Speaking at Prowein, Germany’s major wine fair, González Byass president Mauricio González declared that “volume is dead” and that producers should focus on selling the more profitable, quality wines. He went on to say that consumer attitudes are slowly changing and there is more activity among younger people, especially in the drier and more upmarket styles, helped by the press and sommeliers. He noted that education is of prime importance, but rather than getting too technical it would be better to let people try the wines and how well they match food. The rise of Spanish restaurants, tapas bars and Sherry bars is helping a great deal.

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