Michiko Takahashi presents “Sherry, the Spirit of the Barrel” at the Diario de Jerez office as her contribution to International Sherry Week.
Her relationship with Sherry started with love at first sight which has lasted for 35 year, during which she has not stopped spreading the good word and promoting the wines of the area, for which she has become their principal ambassador in Japan through the Sherry Club of Ginza (Tokyo). This was the first bar to be dedicated exclusively to Sherry in Japan, being inaugurated in 1986, and which was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the establishment with the largest number of listing of Sherries (227) in the world.
After presenting her new book “Sherry, the Spirit of the Barrel” recently in Tokyo, the proprietor of this Sherry temple has arrived to present it in Jerez. It is the most complete and up to date guide to the wines of the area, edited by the Sherry Club Ginza, and is the result of interviews carried out locally over the last three and a half years by Momoko Izumi, a venenciador officially certified by the Consejo Regulador and Katsunori Masuko, and illustrated with photographs by Borja Luque from Jerez. The presentation took place yesterday at 13.00 at the cultural space “ArteAdiario”.
The guide, which illustrates “the mysterious creation and ageing of Sherry”, is divided into three parts: the first is dedicated to the city, the second focuses on the wine and the third contains a complete list of the bodegas.
The first part describes “the daily lives of the people of Jerez, a city famous for wine, flamenco and horses through its festivals and religious events”. In the book’s summary it points out that the winemaking culture of Jerez produced “the wine which sailed round the world with Magellan” and that its tradition dates back three thousand years.
In the second part, the authors discuss the Sherry winemaking process, in which they point out that “just like with people, every Sherry is unique and different to the others”. They describe the different production processes (biological and oxidative ageing) which are responsible for the different types of Sherry (Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillados, Olorosos…).
The third and last part runs through the 63 bodegas which are members of the Consejo Regulador using interviews with the people who run them. “We have traced their history and basic information and also recorded the words of the professionals who work in the bodegas; the winemakers and workers”. This makes the new book the first of its kind in the world, and so it “will leave its mark in history”.
In essence this work sets out to give a global vision, suited to the Japanese mindset, of Jerez, its customs and festivals, and at the same time an exhaustive analysis of the institutions and companies related to Sherry wine.