Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Bodegas: Ricardo de Valderrama
Born in Sevilla in 1852, Ricardo de Valderrama y de Soto established his bodega at Calle Cañameros, 11 in Jerez in 1908. He operated as an almacenista and exporter and two years later he expanded the business to Calle Ferrocarril since it was more practical to be close to the railway. This helped him build a thriving export business including the United States.
His wines were of top quality, many from important single pagos like Carrascal, Gibalbín and Valcargado, and this led to him receiving Royal Warrants from King Alfonso XIII and the Infantas (princesses) Doña Eulalia and Doña Isabel. Limited amounts of wine were sold under their names like Jerez del Rey Alfonso XIII (solera 1886) and Jerez de la Infanta, and the wines were promoted as “The Royal Sherries of Spain” – even though they were not the only bodegas to hold a Royal Warrant.
He remained at this address till 1944 when at the grand old age of 92 he sold the firm to Rafael Ortega Valencia who changed the trading name to his own and continued with the business as an exporter. In 1953 the firm moved to Calle Frías and in 1963 to Plaza de Aladro.
When Rafael retired in 1983 he sold the firm to Rumasa which, only months before its expropriation by the Spanish government, was still buying up bodegas. Sadly, things went downhill quickly and soon the limited old solera wines dedicated to the Royal Family and beautiful litho-printed catalogues were gone and replaced by basic commercial blends like Don Q.
The firm´s better brands were: Brandy Parmentier, Brandy Doña Ana, Fino Coronel, Fino Puerta Real, Manzanilla Mari Lola, Fino Valcargado, Manzanilla Pasads Valderrama, Jerez del Rey, Oloroso Carrascal and Amoroso Gibalbín, Ponche Valderrama, Quina Virgen Blanca, Quina Nuestra Señora de Anzaru.