Sherry Triangle Tour –
based in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia, Spain
16-19 April 2015:
Despite the author being unable to join this year’s tour, due to an injury – our small part of five people from the
UK – duly arrived at the Sherry Park Hotel, Jerez in time to meet Senor Fernando Cabrera (an international area manager with Gonzalez Byass) who kindly agreed to welcome our tour-group to Jerez, present a short appraisal of the area together with an offer of his help with any of their particular needs during their stay in Jerez, between 16-19 April.
The next day, an English speaking driver with Ceret Car – operating courtesy minibuses in Jerez duly arrived to collect our group to visit Bodegas in both El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar de Barrameda towns within the Sherry Triangle.
After a brief tour of the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, which is a busy place on the Costa de la Luz and close to Cadiz – the group visited the centrally located Bodegas Osborne. To present one with an idea of the area – the town has a backdrop of being close to the Bahia de Cadiz Natural Park and being close to the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a deep seafaring community where one can sample an unbeatable opportunity of tasting the area’s rich seafood.
Founded, by an Englishman in 1737 – Bodegas Osborne (still family controlled) has like many Sherry companies’ in the area – some wonderful cathedral-like buildings which house many thousands (or millions) of litres of maturing Sherry – all quite majestic and superbly peaceful.
Prior to lunch in Sanlucar de Barrameda – they had a guided tour of Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana care of Javier Hidalgo, whose family produce the world famous supreme Manzanillas (like a Fino, but with a slightly salty taste, due to being close to the sea). As one might see in many bodegas, Javier always carries his own Venencia which he honed himself entirely from bamboo (the original ones were made from whale bone), but most nowadays are made from mild black plastic-coated flexible steel with a stainless steel cup at the base.
After lunch overlooking the beach – we recommended a visit to the Palace of Medina Sidonio in the upper part of the town – which houses a library of Spanish documents, paintings, sacred art and antiques, before returning to the Hotel Sherry Park.
On Saturday 18th April (their final day) – their visits in the Jerez area included the famous Tio Pepe Bodegas – originally jointly owned by an English family and a Spanish family – the Gonzalez’s and the Byass families respectively, but now wholly owned by the Gonzalez family – whose bodegas and vineyards feature in our web pages at www.winesandtours.co.uk/spain/. Later on this was followed by a brief tour of the town – pointing out the Clock Museum and the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art, before driving east to Arcos de la Frontera. Perched high above some spectacular views of the Guardalete River and some fertile plains beyond – the lunch venue was in Casa del Corregidor (once a Palace) now a Parador. After returning to their hotel, our group attended a farewell dinner in El Cartujano restaurant with Hotel Jerez, just a few minutes’ walk from Hotel Sherry Park.