The namesake of the famous Spanish wine was the city of Jerez de la Frontera in the province of Cádiz ( Andalusia ), which has been a center of wine, liqueur and brandy production since the Middle Ages. In 711 came Spain under Arab rule, but despite the Islamic alcohol ban Wine was still produced. Caliph Alhaken II. Decided in 966 that clear the vines, but the locals successfully argued that some of the grapes too raisins processed by the Muslims in their campaigns. Therefore, only a third of the vines were destroyed. Already in the 12th century sent the Spanish winemakers sherry to England and received in return English wool. During this time, the wine got its name, derived from the Arabic name of the city "Sherish" or "Xeris". He was considered at that time as 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. The Christians said before a battle, allegedly, even to drink their horses from the wine to break these. In 1483, the city fathers of Jerez issued the first statutory regulation for the production of sherry, the detailed instructions for vintage, Texture of the leather wineskins, the expansion and commercial practices.
Sherry was well suited for long voyages because of its durability. For example, in 1519, the Portuguese navigator Ferñao de Magellan (1480-1521) bought 417 hoses and 253 kegs of sherry before embarking on his world tour. In 1587, the English buccaneer Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) attacked the city of Spanish city Cádiz and robbed 2,900 barrels of sherry, which made London enjoy this wine. This very quickly became immensely popular and an English fashion drink. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an absolute sherry fan, he daily approved a considerable amount of money in his favorite place "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 - also on the naming for the sparkling wine (see there) involved. In the 19th century, Spanish companies settled in Jerez, some still exist today by name. All over the world, wines were produced under the name sherry, the brand or name was only protected in 1996 in the EU.
The vineyards in the DO area Jerez full name "Jerez / Xérèz / Sherry and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar Barrameda" cover approximately 10,500 hectares. The vineyards are largely in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean. Earlier at all soil types Vines planted, today almost exclusively only on the bright white chalk ground albariza (lat. alba = white). This floor is the sherry's first secret of success next to climate. varieties and the long experience of the winemakers. The planting of the vines takes place in rows (liños), which are aligned in north-south direction. This will give you maximum sunshine throughout the day. The most important grape variety is Listán ( Palomino ), with about 90% of the production 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 area of Chipiona) and Pedro Ximénez cultivated, which are mainly used for sweetening special sherry varieties.
For the beginning of reading is the Sugar- and acidity the grapes crucial. The vintage 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. The sweet-grape grapes are exposed to the sun during the day to increase the sugar content of Esparto grass mats, further reducing the already low acidity, and covered at night to prevent them from being damaged in the damp, cool night air. This sun treatment lasts at least 48 hours. In a traditional process, the grapes are still before pressing Yeso (Gypsum) added. Usually one already decides when squeezing which type of sherry is to be produced from the material. The fermentation Usually takes place in steel containers with up to 40,000 liters at temperatures between 22 and 24 ° C. Some bodegas use the fermentation in new oak barrels (Botas or Barricas).
At the end of the fermentation it is decided which wine is suitable for which type of sherry. Each barrel is checked and...