JEREZ’S sherry wine is revolutionising its image following a multi-decade slump.
In the seventies, sherry sales rode the high of the wine boom, with a record of 23,000 hectares of palomino grapes planted.
Unfortunately, as the primary exporters the UK and Holland lost interest, the price of the wine crashed with the excess of grapes, and employment in the sherry sector fell from supporting 12,000 jobs to a mere 1,500.
However, one company is trying to revive the sherry market by moving it from the grocery store shelf to the linen-covered table.
Bodegas Tradicion, created in 1998, is trying to re-infuse sherry with the luxury and prestige it deserves for the labor-intensive process required to make the wine.
The company owns 7,000 hectares, and sells 16,000 bottles a year to high-end restaurants, leading wine expert Eduardo Ojeda to declare, “The sherry revolution has begun.”
Bodegas Tradicion, mentioned here, is a marvellous place to tour and taste. The owner’s art gallery, included in the tour, is a treat for the eyes. But unfortunately, their aged (at least thirty years) sherry, costs an arm and a leg and is not an every day tipple. Chilled Fino and Manzanilla (which they don’t deal in) would be the drink to concentrate on for a younger generation of potential sherry drinkers.
Pedro Jiminez, Oloroso, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and -ugh!- cream sherry, are very much acquired tastes.