Sunday, 4 August 2019
Bodegas: BM Lagos SA
Founded as Benítez Hermanos 1900, this firm´s bodegas were located at Calle Cordobeses, 3 in Jerez. Years later these bodegas would be bought by Fernando Carrasco and later by Enrique Rivero for his Bodegas Tradición. Its founder, Bartolomé Benítez Vargas-Machucha, was born in 1864 into a well to do Jerez family. He married Margarita Lagos and they lived in Calle Cerrón, where the post office building now stands, and oddly he became director of the telephone exchange till it was automated. He died in 1932.
Bartolomé´s son, José Ramón Benítez Lagos (1897-1957) was an expert broker in wines and spirits with premises in Chipiona and Los Palacios where he produced syrups and caramel for various products connected with the bodega. In 1968 the firm changed its name to BM Lagos (Benítez Mateos Lagos) and moved to new premises on the Jerez-Sanlúcar road opposite what were then the bodegas of Bobadilla and which are currently used as a depot for carriages by a businessman with a love of horses.
José Ramón had seven children, some of whom would continue in the family business and particularly Manuel Benítez Mateos (1937-1978) who was tragically killed in a railway accident which would ultimately lead to the end of the bodega. In 1985 the family sold part of it to José Medina & Cia. and part to the German group Gedelfin at a time when Germany appeared to be a growth market. This turned out to be a false hope however, and Medina bought the Gedelfin holding which would be absorbed into Williams & Humbert which the Medina brothers bought in 1995. The wines are now very different unfortunately, and are simply sold as own-label Sherries for Lidl Supermarkets, albeit of reasonable quality.
Among the firm´s brands were: Ponche Triunfador, Ponche Victorioso, Manzanilla Las Flores, Oloroso Dulce Los Ángeles, Oloroso Viejísimo Gran Cartel, Fino Julia (named after one of Bartolomé´s daughters), the Señero range, Brandy Emperador, Brandy Especial 910, Gin Leyenda, Gin Lagos and Branduyill liqueur.