Monday, 5 March 2018

Bodegas Viña el Armijo

The Florido family have been involved in the wine trade since the XVIII century and became exporters at the start of the XIX. Another branch of the family is that of the famous Bodegas César Florido in Chipiona, who buy grapes from Viña el Armijo. In 1880 the firm of Florido Hermanos was established in Sanlúcar, but was later bought out by Pedro Domecq.

In 1942 Gaspar Florido Cano founded a new firm with his own name having purchased some very old Amontillado soleras from Bodegas Rodriquez La-Cave (which later merged with Delgado Zuleta). These soleras would later form the famous soleras 25-GF, 30-GF and Ansar Real (dated 1840). The numbers refer to the number of butts in the soleras. He worked as an artisan almacenista supplying wines to the best bodegas and also to local bars and restaurants.

Florido owned the 33 hectare Viña el Armijo in the Pago Miraflores with its lovely XVI century casa de viña which supplied most of its musts. It also owned over five bodegas with a total of some 7,000 butts, but later consolidated into one bigger one on the road to Trebujena. In 1997, aware of the prestige of the wines Eduardo Cotro Florido, from the fourth generation, decided to bottle them and sell them on the open market. He asked extremely high prices, but it worked as the whole world took notice.

Without any heirs interested in taking on the declining business Florido eventually sold out for 6.5 million euros to Pedro Romero in 2007, but he didn’t sell everything. He retained the Viña el Armijo and some butts of his old wines, GF-25 and Ansar Real (GF 30) no less. The rest was later bought by Bodegas Alonso. Not only that but soon after the sale a new company was formed, Gaspar Florido e Hijas SL with an office in the Banda Playa, and these lovely wines plus a Manzanilla, Amontillado and Oloroso of very fine quality are available in very limited quantities. It is run by Isolina Florido Escriva de Romani and José Manuel Gaona. In 2018 they launched a white Palomino table wine called 12 Liños, made with the help of Ramiro Ibáñez.

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