With 80 years of history behind it, the ‘Casa del Vino’ has undergone a major refurbishing project, the results of which are now on view at the centrally located building on Avenida Álvaro Domecq. The ground floor is now open to the public for visits to the Jerez Centre for the Promotion of Wine Tourism, essentially a showcase that guides and informs tourists about the Region´s many establishments and activities centred on wine-tourism.
The new facilities are located at the front of the building, flanking the main entrance on either side and easily accessed from the avenue. Upon entering, to the right, there is a reception area with two counters where Sherry Wine Council staff and Master´s degree students in wine tourism will provide information to visitors, thanks to an agreement reached with the University of Cádiz. At the back, there is a gift shop where visitors can purchase items such as books or Sherry Wine tasting kits. The oak parquet floors are reminiscent of the American Oak wine butts in which Sherry Wine is aged and demijohns hang from the ceiling, serving as lamps. One of the walls simulates the andanas or rows of wine casks, but these have touch screens on them for obtaining information on the region´s wine tourism. The opposite wall is full of built-in shelves for showcasing many of the best-known brands of Jerez Region wines.
The central part includes another space—a multipurpose room to the left of the main entrance where the same materials and motifs were used to provide continuity and where events such as tasting sessions, paired food & wine events and presentations are planned to be held. All in all, the ideal place for groups to take part in training and informative sessions about Sherry Wines.
The San Ginés bodega will continue to serve as a complement to the newly refurbished wine-tourism centre, but now enjoys a better lighting and sound system as well as being able to accommodate visitors with reduced mobility as all of the architectural barriers have been removed. Now, in order to access the bodega for events or temporary exhibits, both a ramp and a lift have been installed to reach the bodega on the second floor.
All of the details regarding the new facilities were presented yesterday by the architect responsible for the project, José Manuel Sánchez del Pozo, and the Director of the Consejo Regulador, César Saldaña. Both chaperoned the authorities while they attended the official inaugural ceremony of the project, whose budget of €400,000 received a 40% European funds subsidy thanks to a collaboration agreement between the regional government and the Campiña de Jerez Local Action Group (LAG).
Also in attendance were: Susana Sánchez Toro, President of Campiña de Jerez LAG; regional government representatives for Tourism and Agriculture from the Junta de Andalucía, Manuel González Piñero and Federico Fernández; the Jerez Town Councillor for Tourism, Antonio Real; and Vice-president of the Diputación de Cádiz, Bernardo Villar.
In his greetings to all those present, Beltrán Domecq, President of the Consejo Regulador, acknowledged being “extremely pleased” with the “excellent work” done in the project which will “allow us to direct and guide visitors to the bodegas, vineyards and gastronomic events featuring Sherry at any point on the Sherry Wine and Jerez Brandy Route.”
Ms. Sánchez Toro reiterated the Campiña de Jerez LAG´s commitment to improve the tourist attractions on offer in the local rural areas and work with the Centre for the Promotion of Wine Tourism to that effect. González Piñero added that the project is tangible evidence that the public administration is capable of reaching agreements that go above and beyond political party ties.
The Centre will be a catalyst for the Region´s wine industry and Bernardo Villar congratulated each and every one of the institutions involved for their commitment to promoting Sherry Wines and concluded by highlighting the recently signed agreement between the Diputación and the Consejo Regulador.