The production of spirits has in Spain tradition since the Middle Ages. When the Moors conquered Spain in the eighth century, they brought the art of the distillation With. The scholar from Spain Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) experimented around the year 1285 with brandy and wine production. The Spaniards were thus among the first peoples of Europe, who dominated this art. Until the end of the 19th century, large quantities of raw distillates were supplied to the Dutch, resulting in the name "Holandas" for a particular type of brandy.
The production of Spanish brandy today is in the hands of sherry producers in Jerez, He has to be like everybody else Weinbrände meet EU conditions for the production of a "brandy made from wine". The base wines Although not from Jerez, but here are the distillation and maturation. The largest share comes from the autochthonous variety cultivated in huge quantities Airén from the region La Mancha, furthermore, the Cayetana Blanca used. Four different distillation processes are permitted, the final product being called aguardiente ("burning water").
The ripening takes place in American oak barrels, whereby these in the manner of the Solera system as in the production of the Sherry be replenished (blended) several times a year and consciously exposed to contact with oxygen. This results in a uniform quality. This procedure is called "dynamic system" in Spain, compared to the normally "static system", where a brandy remains in the same barrel until maturity. Some manufacturers use for barrels in which Oloroso-Sherry was previously stored, resulting in a special fullness and spiciness. Due to the dynamic system, the Spanish brandies mature much faster.
These special techniques contribute to the fact that a Jerez de Brandy tastes nothing at all with a French one cognac is to be compared. The term "Brandy de Jerez" is after at least six months of maturation, a Reserva Matures for a year and a Gran Reserva for at least three years. Major producers with their best-known brands are González Byass (Lepanto), Croft (Gourmet), Pedro Domecq (Fundador) Osborne (Conde d'Osborne) and Sánchez Romate (Cardenal Mendoza).