ANDALUCÍA - CÁDIZ- JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA - BODEGAS PEDRO DOMECQ
BODEGAS PEDRO DOMECQ
A visit from July 2015
The Pedro Domecq Bodega (famous for Harvey’s Bristol Cream, Terry’s Brandy and Fundador Sherries) is a really interesting experience that can be arranged shortly before visiting.
The guides speak good English and give a very in-depth guided tour around the bodega, explaining, how the different types of sherry and brandy are produced and stored, bottled and marketed under their different brand names.
The solera system is explained, where a third of the wine is drawn from the oldest barrel at the bottom of the solera for bottling and replenished with a third from the next oldest barrel and so on, to keep the sherry tasting the same.
There is also, a museum, which is excellent, illustrating visually, some of the heritage of the bodega.
An old bottling machine.
The tour takes one and a half hours and culminates in a tasting, with a brief stop at the shop.
The premises housing the bodega itself, is beautiful. with an immaculate garden and courtyard and can be hired out as a wedding venue. It was easy to find in the old part of the town and you are made to feel very welcome by the staff.
Wonderful old trees.
Harveys Bristol Cream (a blend of fino, amontillado, oloroso and PX) was blended in Bristol, England, by the Harvey family (who never actually lived in Jerez) but, hence the name. It is said, the best way to have Bristol Cream is to have it chilled with two slices of orange and ice, unlike Grand Mothers who keep it in the cupboard for Christmas :-)
Brandy was discovered, when 500 barrels of pure white spirit was left unsold for five years. When tasted later, they discovered it had taken colour from the wood, it tasted rather fine (with less alcohol content) and had turned into this new drink which they initally called, cognac, then brandy, to distance it from the French version!
The Terry Family were originally from Ireland and went to El Puerto de Santa Maria where they became destitute and ignored, eventually, coming to be looked after by local fisherman. Out of gratitude for this, once they became rich, they covered their bottles with fishermen’s nets, which is still part of the branding today.
There are many of the (always of American oak) barrels, which have been signed by famous people, like, Bo Derek.
When the barrels are around 70 years old they are sold to Scottish whisky makers, who believe, the sherry stained wood adds flavour to the whisky, so nothing is really wasted.
Famous people used to have their own casks, like the Duke of Wellington.
King George V
You will get a demonstration of the various types of sherry (fino, amontillado, oloroso and PX) and brandies in their various states of maturity, in the museum at the end of the tour.
The basic tour costs €8 per head, which includes a few glasses of sherry and a glass of brandy at the end.
For an additional €2 you can taste a 30 year old sherry and for a further €4, enjoy some tapas too.
BODEGAS PEDRO DOMECQ
Calle San Ildefonso, 3, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz
+34 956 15 15 00
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