Famed for its fortified wine and previously a generic term, now a legal name (Sherry), this sun scorched south western area of Spain is where western Europe's wine making began in 500 BC. Despite the image, good Sherry is far from a dark cupboard dweller and is a throughbred in its own right. The area is now developing a non-fortified reputation, using the surrounding topography to benefit viticulture, producing some brilliant results and attracting investment from afar.Read More
Jerez DO was established in 1933 and its most famous fortified wine, Sherry, is produced in three towns know as the Sherry Triangle. Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda make up the trianagle.
Palomino Fiano, Pedro Ximenex and Muscato de Alejandria are all white grapes and used to make Sherry. The syles of Sherry range in order of dryness from: Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Paolo Cortado, Olorosso and Pedro Ximenex.
The climate here is maritime, warmed by Spain's interior and cooled by the Mediterranean breezes. This cooling effect is important as it helps retain grape acidity. The area also receives about 300 sunshine days, an important grape ripening factor. There are three main soil types to mention. Albariza has a calcium/clay mixture which is almost white, helping reflect sunlight back onto the grapes. It also retains moisture well. Barros is mostly clay based with chalk and Arenas or sands.