Tuesday, 4 September 2018
4.9.18 González Byass Restoring PX Lagar
González Byass has decided to make its own Pedro Ximénez again and to that end has embarked on a project to refurbish the old winery at their Viña Canariera in the pago Carrascal which hasn’t been used since the 1980s. The firm has some 27 hectares of PX in its Viña Esteve and Viña Canariera vineyards and, along with Ximénez Spínola, must be almost the only producers of it left in Jerez. GB expects to process 10,000 kilos a day of sunned PX grapes over which they will have 100% control from vine to glass.
PX has been grown in the Marco de Jerez for some 500 years, usually on the lower albariza slopes. While it has been used traditionally to make dry wines as well as sweet (though mostly the latter), it requires more work and gives lower yields than Palomino which, along with falling demand for sweet wines has led to its decline, and it now accounts for only about 3% of the vines planted on albariza. The climate in Jerez is a little too humid for PX, and growers have to worry not only about the weather during the growing season, but also that during the sunning of the grapes which can last up to three weeks.
For many years now, the tradition has been to buy young PX wine from Montilla-Moriles and age it through soleras in Jerez, and the longer the ageing the more different the wine becomes, so this is permitted by the Consejo Regulador. Montilla-Moriles is in the province of Córdoba where the climate is drier and hotter and the soils are also albariza, so it is the perfect place to grow PX. These days many are thinking however, that Sherry should be 100% Jerez, hence the talk about a distillery.