The best Sherry house in Spain?

Considering that the Jerez D.O. (denominacion de origen) title was the very first designated in Spain, and that even before then Sherry was already internationally popular for centuries, you might expect that by now there would be some very fine bottles of the stuff in production. The process of making this fortified wine has indeed been refined over the ages and its uniqueness earned the “Sherry” label a legally protected status. True Sherry comes only from the region in and around Jerez de la Frontera in the Cadiz Province of Andalucia.

After some 3000 years of wine production in Jerez, one winery has emerged as arguably the best maker of Sherry in the region. While there are a variety of Sherries, depending on one of only three types of grapes used and the conditions and methods impacting production, the Barbadillo bodega boasts some of the finest, if not most expensive Sherries in many of the categories.

Sherry

In operation since 1821, the Barbadillo winery labels its finest Sherries under the “Reliquia” title. The Barbadillo Reliquia Amontillado Sherry, made from “palomino” grapes, sells for upwards of €500, while the Reliquia Sherry from Pedro Ximenex grapes goes for an average of €420. “Oloroso” (literally meaning scented) Sherry is produced by oxidative aging, giving it a dark and nutty character. The Barbadillo Reliquia brand of oloroso also sells for more than €400 a bottle.

If you’d prefer to sample a bit before jumping into such a purchase, tours and tastings can be booked directly with the winery for just €20…a little easier to swallow.

Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto.

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