Visiting Jerez, exploring Sherry, and blending Las Palmas
Part 2, in Jerez, and a good lunch at Arturo's

Jerez de la Frontera isnít the prettiest town in Spain, but itís not the ugliest either. It has just over 200 000 inhabitants, and Sherry is the main business here. We spent an hour or so wandering round, including a quick trip to see the Alcazar, and a visit to the fabulous fish market.

The Alcazar is based on a moorish fortress built in the 11th Century, and then a residence and fortress used by the muslim occupants in the 12th century. It then switched backwards and forth as the Christians retook Jerez, then lost it again, and then a long time later took it back. Itís quite beautiful.

 

The fish market, El Mercado Central de Abastos, is a great sight. Some seriously delicious looking fish on offer. Itís visually gorgeous, and the prices look to be really reasonable.

Visiting bodegas is one of the big tourist appeals in Jerez. Gonzalez Byass, as one of the bigger bodegas, is well set up for receiving visitors. You get to wander through all the different barrel halls. The oxidative ageing cellar, with its old barrels, is particularly interesting because many of the barrels are signed by celebrities who have visited.

Thereís also a distinctive iron-built cellar, called La Concha (below), which was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (of tower fame) and built in 1862. Itís not a proper cellar Ė more an events space. Itís quite beautiful.

And Rebollo (above): the original Tio Pepe solera was here, with around 100 barrels.

We lunched at Bar Arturo (Calle Guita 9, 11408 Jerez De La Frontera, Andalucia +34 956 33 00 12), which is an amazing tapas place specializing in fried fish. This was washed down with Tio Pepe, which tasted fabulous in this setting. Arturoís is rightly a Jerez legend!

See a film of this visit:

 


VISITING SHERRY COUNTRY
Part 1, the vineyards
Part 2, Jerez and a good lunch at Aturo's
Part 3, making sherry
Part 4, blending Las Palmas
Part 5, the wines tasted

Wines tasted 10/14  
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