'it knows...vast aching skies...landscapes of distance and silence...within the bright walls of its towns and villages it has developed a gregarious and extrovert ritual of life'

Jerez de la Frontera - 

an Andalucian city of rich Moorish architecture, flamenco, bull fighting, dancing horses and tapas with the backdrop of Semana Santa effigies of the Passion and resounding marching bands … the air perfumed with the wondrous aromas of oranges and Sherry!

The white sun-baked Albariza soil in which the Palomino vines thrive typifies the region de la tierra Cadiz; and whilst the superb Sherry wines are what the region is known for, the unfortified wines of the area (Vino de la Tierra Cadiz) - the whites made with the same Palomino Fino grape variety that constitutes Sherry in the main and the reds made with tempranillo or garnacha blends and lesser known indigenous varieties like Tintilla de Rota – are thrilling and often overlooked!

At La Cruz Blanca in Calle Consistorio Jerez

 a tasting of:

Tintilla 2013 Luis Perez: 100% Tintilla de Rota - indigenous grape variety of Cadiz region - dense opaque black cherry red; on the nose, glorious treacled plum and black cherry, liquorice, pepper; in the mouth, delicious warm rich fruit cake flavours, balanced and with characterful minerality - perfect with Carillada de Cerdo Iberico (pork cheek), Pimientos del Padron and Rabo de Toro (oxtail)

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Sanlucar de Barrameda - a unique old town at the northern tip of the Sherry triangle - slight divergence from

the unfortified wines of the region to the fortified style that the region is best known for! 

A deliciously fresh Manzanilla en rama from Bodega Pedro Romero - drawn from the cask that morning according to the signor at charming 'Joselito Huerta' - 

invigorating aromatic piquancy, toasty dried fruit, salted almonds on the nose; crisp, citrus-pith intense, nutty, savoury saline fullness in the mouth -  sampled with sea-fresh, lightly fried fishes of all varieties, bathed in warm golden sun beside the 'alcauciles' green brilliance of Rio Guadalquivir - 

absolute Sherry nirvana!

Bodegas Paez Morilla

just outside the Sherry triangle in Arcos de la Frontera where by happy circumstance, we have a familial contact, Esperanza Ramirez Paez, whose spirit and passion about her family business mirrors the warmth of the region!

Esperanza spoke of her family’s rich history in sherry vinegar production - a business which her Grandfather, Antonio, created and remained very actively involved in until he passed away last year in his 90’s - whilst we toured around the expansive winery where there is also a sherry vinegar solera and production line; and a cooperage providing the Scottish and Irish whisky houses with sherry wine-aged barrels!

Abuelo Antonio is featured still presiding over Bodegas Paez Morilla seated on a bench raising a glass of vino as part of an amazing mural which covers one of the exterior walls of the Bodega buildings – confusing birds and delighting visitors in its virtual reality!

We passed row upon row of cases of wine and a semi-dulce red wine, named enchantingly 'Arrullo de Estrellas' (Lullaby of Stars), ready to go on the bottling line, however not available to taste yet.  So we adjourned along a passage suffused with the scent of orange blossom to the Paez Morilla tasting room to sample three lovely light, white wines and an intriguing red wine

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Tierra Blanca Seco 2016: Palomino & Riesling blend 11.5% - pale green/gold with a subtle aroma of lime and green apple, a fresh zingy citrus in the mouth – serve perfectly cool with Tortilla Clasica or Manchego!

Tierra Blanca Semi Dulce 2016: Palomino & Moscatel blend 11% – orange flower and pear aromas, delicately semi sweet with a hint of honey and light balanced acidity – delicious chilled with Atun y Pimientos Dulces or shell fish!

Risa Vino de Aguja: Moscatel de Alejandria 7.5% – lovely espumoso sweet apple, uvas as well as a hint of sweet orange, light frothy citrus and honeyed bubbles – an aperitivo, with seafood or Ensaladilla Rusa, with work colleagues, friends, family events - a happy, refreshing and versatile frizzante wine, perfect for all occasions

Vina Lucia 2015: Tempranillo, garnacha, syrah, cabernet sauvignon blend 14.5% - a perfume of forest fruits imbued with vanilla, mint and a hint of liquorice – a little bretty and funky on the nose; in the mouth, deep red and blue fruit acidity with forgiving tannins and a raisined length - a wine with potential and an individual personality – partner with Rinones al Jerez!

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A glorious Andalucian experience at Bodegas Paez Morilla - delightful wines, sun and tradition – ‘duende’ 

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