Monday, 20 January 2014

Bodegas: Bodegas Blanca Reyes

This small firm was Established in 1884 as Bodegas Sol in the Plazuela neighbourhood of Jerez by Francisco Espinosa de los Monteros. This area was where many gypsies lived, and was – and is – full of Flamenco.  The bodega continues still in family hands. It is run by Maria Jimenez Garcia (an Espinosa de los Monteros) and her son Telmo Moreno along with their salesman Sebastian Iñigo Vera.

Telmo and Maria
Maria was one of the six children of Rafael Jimenez and Maria Garcia Sanchez. Her father worked as an arrumbador (people who operate the soleras) at Valdespino, and her mother applied labels to bottles and young Maria took her father his lunch, which he would enjoy with a couple of glasses of Sherry, and then go and crash his motor scooter.

She married a man called Telmo after seven years of courtship, but was soon widowed. Later she got to know Aurelio Blanca Reyes, a hard-working man from Algeciras with business acumen. He ran a transport business in the Calle Circo, but soon got involved with running the family bodega. He had learned his craft at Gonzalez Byass. After only three months of marriage however, Aurelio died, leaving Maria a widow again, and this time with a son whom she called Telmo.

Maria was presented with a choice: sell the bodega and live comfortably sacrificing all Aurelio’s hard work, or take over the running of the bodega in his memory. She took over the bodega, about 20 years ago now, despite worries about working in a very male-dominated industry with falling sales, and knowing little about it. There was no alternative but to learn. Her son Telmo was taught by a chemist from Bodegas Caballero and is her right hand. Together they have kept the bodega going, and are now exploring export markets.

Solera La Perla
The small bodega is registered at the Consejo Regulador as one which stores, ages and sells wine on the open market. It contains 500 butts from which they produce a range of wines from which they bottle their star wine Fino Perla along with PX, Moscatel, Oloroso and Cream. Soon they will also bottle a range of Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Medium and Vinegar.

Visits: Yes by appointment
Address: Puertas del Sol, 22-24, 11401 Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz
Telephone: (+34)956 342 534
Web: www. bodegas blanca

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