The Spanish wine industry was born here, courtesy of the Phoenicians, and the Moors brought the secret of distillation that allowed Sherry to develop into the drink that it is.In recent years its reputation has been tarnished by an inexplicable fashion for ever sweeter, sicklier and inferior styles, but its true excellence always remained and is now firmly back in the market and awaiting rediscovery.
Styles of Wine
The recent style of Sherry, it would seem, has been creamy, cloying and sitting in the drinks cabinet from one Christmas to the next. Or else drunk by students as the cheapest means to an end. In actual fact it is a remarkably diverse and versatile drink. Always fortified and naturally dry, with any sweetness added by blending after fermentation, fino and amontillado are the two classic styles. It is a complex drink and a chat with your wine merchant will be invaluable in unearthing the style you are after.
Key Grape Varieties
Southern Spain is white wine territory. In Jerez the Palomino grape is by far the most important, though Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel are also permitted. These are used in the other districts along with Muscat of Alexandria, Airén and Doradilla.
Climate and Topography
The climate can be very hot, but this is offset by cool, moist air coming off the Mediterranean. In combination with chalky soils this makes for very fine white wine territory. The prevailing condition affecting Málaga is the loss of vineyards to tourist and civic development.
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