• Barrels at Bodegas El Maestro Sierra

    Introducing Sherry

    The D.O. of Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla is the home of Spain’s most famous wine: Sherry. While the climate here on the southern end of Spain is largely Mediterranean, the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean creates a variation that makes the microclimate of Sherry Country unique.

  • Sherry Country

    Finding Sherry

    The Denomination of Origin is situated near Cadiz and is defined by the 3 towns of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barameda. This area is on the west-facing side of a large cape where the Atlantic Ocean moderates the hot winds blowing down from the central plateau of Spain.

  • A benecia is dipped through the flor

    Flor

    One of the defining characteristics of Sherry is a rare phenomenon that is common in Jerez: barrels develop a thick white layer of yeast called flor (flower), which covers and seals the wine. A wind called the Poniente, which comes from the west, brings cool moist air from the ocean, creating the conditions favorable for the growth of flor.

  • A Fino barrel at Bodegas César Florido

    Biological Aging

    Fino
    The finest and most delicate wines are fortified to about 15% to allow the flor to grow. The biological aging process makes these wines into Finos.

    Manzanilla
    Finos produced in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda are called Mazanillas. Due to the town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Manzanillas exhibit more brackish qualities than other Finos.

  • Maestro Sierra's Amontillado 1830 is named for the year it was started

    Mixed Aging

    Amontillado
    Finos that start to exhibit more robust features are further fortified and allowed to undergo oxidative aging, giving them bronze tones and hazelnut characteristics. These wines are reclassified as Amontillados.

    Palo Cortado
    On rare occasions a wine decides its own fate. The flor starts to grow erratically and the wine begins to undergo both biological and oxidative aging. These wines are called Palo Cortado.

  • Moscatel grapes drying in the sun

    Oxidative Aging

    Oloroso
    If the wine is not delicate enough to produce a Fino it is fortified to about 18% to prevent the flor from growing. The oxidative aging makes these wines into Olorosos.

    Moscatel & Pedro Ximénez
    The sweet wines of Sherry are made from either Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez grapes. The grapes are dried after harvest and the wine is aged oxidatively, like Oloroso. These sweet wines are sometimes blended with Oloroso to create Cream Sherries.

  • Solera

    Aging in the Solera

    Each lot of similar wines is called a solera and might be maintained in four or five stages called criaderas. Wine for bottling is drawn only from the oldest criadera, often also referred to as the solera. Several times a year, up to 30% of the wine in the oldest criadera is bottled. This is replaced with wine from the next oldest, which itself is then replenished with younger wine and so on and so forth until new wine, called sobretabla, is added.

  • Iconograpy

    Iconography

    To mark all the different types of wines and the soleras themselves the almacenistas (warehouse managers of soleras) create a unique iconography. These almacenistas and their language are the historical remnants of a bygone era.

  • Old Sherries at El Maestro Sierra

    Aging Designations

    Once wines reach a certain age they are qualified as follows:

    12 year
    At least 12 year old wines on average.

    15 year
    At least 15 year old wines on average.

    VOS
    Vinum Optimum Signatum or Very Old Sherry, at least 20 years old on average.

    VORS
    Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum or Very Old Rare Sherry, at least 30 years old on average.

  • The courtyard at La Cigarrera

    The Bodegas

    We represent five bodegas from four of the main Sherry producing villages in the region.

    La Cigarrera in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

    Bodegas Grant and Gutierrez Colosia in El Puerto de Santa María.

    El Maestro Sierra in Jerez de la Frontera.

    Bodegas César Florido in Chipiona.