Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jerez: It's all about the bodegas

A 1600L sherry cask of vintage sherry

Jerez de la fronterra is a small town about an hour out of Seville, easily accessible by train.

As with many of the towns in this area, Jerez has an Alcázar, however it is not as impressive as other castles in the region (particularly the Real Alcázar in Seville) but it's still worth a look because of a very interesting piece of 17th century technology - the cámera oscura. The cámera oscura is essentially a set of lenses focused from the tower onto a screen giving a detailed 360° view of the surrounds of Jerez.

The rest of the 12th century castle consists of a well preserved mosque and Arabic baths - all of which make the Alcázar worth a visit.

Arabic baths

The heating room inside the baths

Alcázar wall

Although the Alcázar was an interesting, it was a side trip to the main reason why people head to Jerez - The sherry bodegas.

Sherry casks

Brandy stills - the brandy here was magnificent

A previously public street, taken over by the expanding bodega

Jerez is home to many sherry bodegas, however since this was only a day-trip, only one could be fitted in - the Gonzalez-Bayas bodega.

This is where the famous "Tio Pepe" brand of sherry is made.

I must admit that, apart from Perdro Ximinez sherry, I had not really enjoyed drinking sherry - reminded of some nasty two litre flagons being handed around at uni parties. However, after tasting the good stuff - I'm a convert. A delicious dry Tio Pepe fino for an aperitif, a flavourful Olorosso with the meal and a Pedro Ximinez or a cream sherry with dessert ;)

From left to right: fino, olorosso, cream, pedro ximinez

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