The name of the famous Spanish wine was the city of Jerez de la Frontera in the province of Cadiz ( Andalusia ), which has been a center of wine, liqueur and brandy production since the Middle Ages. Got in 711 Spain under Arab rule, but despite the Islamic alcohol ban wine continued to be produced. Caliph Alhaken II decided this in 966 clear of the vines, but the locals successfully argued that some of the grapes were too raisins processed, which the Muslims fed on their campaigns. Therefore only a third of the vines were destroyed. The Spanish winegrowers sent sherry to England as early as the 12th century and received English wool in return. During this time the wine got its name, derived from the Arabic name of the city "Sherish" or "Xeris". At that time it was considered one of the best wines in the world. The conquest by the Castilian king Alfonso X (1221-1284) in 1264 brought Jerez back under Christian rule. Before a battle, the Christians reportedly even gave their horses drinking wine to put them on. In 1483, the city fathers of Jerez enacted the first legal regulation for the production of sherry, which detailed instructions for vintage, Texture of leather wineskins, the expansion as well as trading practices.
Because of its durability, sherry was ideal for longer cruises. For example, the Portuguese seafarer Ferñao de Magellan (1480-1521) bought 417 hoses and 253 kegs of sherry in 1519 before he started his world tour. In 1587 the English privateer Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) attacked the city of Cádiz in Spain and stole 2,900 barrels of sherry, which brought London to this wine. It quickly became extremely popular and became an English fashion drink. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an absolute sherry fan, he allowed himself a considerable amount every day in his pub "Bear Head Tavern". Again and again this wine was mentioned by name in scenes of his works (Richard III, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV.). In this context, Shakespeare - and the sherry - was also named for the sparkling wine (see there) involved. Spanish companies settled in Jerez in the 19th century, and some still exist by name. All over the world, wines were produced under the name Sherry, the brand or name was only protected in the EU in 1996.
The vineyards in the DO area Jerez with the full name "Jerez / Xérèz / Sherry y Manzanilla de Sanlúcar Barrameda" cover around 10,500 hectares. The vineyards are largely in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean. Used to be on everyone soil types Vines planted, today almost exclusively on the bright white chalk floor albariza (lat. alba = white). This floor is the Sherry's first secret of success besides climate. varieties and the long experience of the winemakers. The vines are planted in rows (liños), which are oriented in a north-south direction. This gives you maximum sun exposure throughout the day. The main grape variety is Listán ( Palomino ), with about 90% of the growing area, the sherry vine par excellence. It contributes to the special character of the sherry. In addition, there are still small stocks of varieties Muscat d'Alexandrie (especially in the Chipiona area) and Pedro Ximénez cultivated, which are mainly used to sweeten special sherry variants.
For the start of reading is the Sugar- and acidity the grapes crucial. The vintage is usually done by hand; the grapes are collected in baskets (“Arrobas” of 11.5 kg each) so that they are not damaged. Exactly 62 of the baskets make one Carretada, the required amount of grapes for 500 liters of must. Grapes intended for sweet wines are exposed to the sun during the day to increase the sugar content on mats made of Esparto grass, which further reduces the already low acidity, and covered at night so that they do not suffer any damage in the damp, cool night air. This sun treatment lasts at least 48 hours. In a traditional process, the grapes are pressed before they are pressed Yeso (Plaster) added. Usually, when pressing, you decide which type of sherry should be made from the material. The fermentation usually takes place in steel containers with a capacity of up to 40,000 liters at temperatures between 22 and 24 ° C. Some bodegas use fermentation in new oak barrels (botas or barricas).
After fermentation is complete, a decision is made as to which wine is suitable for which type of sherry. Each barrel is checked and classified by the Capataz (cellar master). The barrels are...