Our final full day was guaranteed to be one totally comprehensive look at the world of sherry: two visits, a pairing tapas lunch and dinner.
Overnight, the heavens had opened so there was distinctly autumnal feel about the morning.
Fortunately, there was a window of rainless opportunity just as we walked to Bodega Tradición. Set up by the Rivero family in 1998, this is a tiny bodega that focusses solely on old and rare sherries. Having acquired a number of old Soleras from a range of producers, they started selling sherries in 2000. Quality is exceptional and the prices are high – but worth every euro!
Ulrike hosted a quite superb visit and gave a brilliantly succinct explanation of every aspect of sherry production. The other huge bonus is their art collection. Containing an incredible mix of paintings from Goya, El Greco and a host of other famous Spanish artists it added a dimension that people weren’t expecting.
From Tradición, it was a 20 minute hop to Vina La Constancia. Another small, relatively new bodega, Juan hosted a great visit. Aside from all the different sherries, they also make sherry vinegar and their bodega has also become a destination for…..Flamenco.
This was another big surprise for everyone as we sat down to seven sherries, seven tapas pairing dishes and seven different flamenco songs and dances. As it thundered outside, the winery was atmospherically lit and we savoured a real feast of the senses.
Our tour ended on a high note with dinner at one of Jerez’s best restaurants – La Carbona.
Set in an old sherry bodega with high wooden ceilings we sat down to a wonderful selection of starters: game pate, prawns with artichokes and salmon; some perfectly cooked seabass, beef skirt and a wonderfully rich chocolate cake. All washed down with a local chardonnay, a tempranillo, cabernet merlot blend, oloroso with the beef and cream and PX sherry with dessert.
A fitting end to a great tour and we all hoped to be visiting Jerez again soon.