Sherry Wine News

Unlocking Sherry's secrets

Sherry Wines UK reports back after a lesson in Sherry school with César Saldaña, director general of the Consejo Regulador de los Vinos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla. This time we're looking at biological ageing, and unlocking the secret behind Sherry.

This masterclass unveiled the secrets of biological ageing, one of two ways Sherry ages in the bodega. The session detailed what exactly ‘flor’ is and how it gives Sherry its uniqueness. Guests learnt the science behind ‘flor’ and then, more rewardingly, enjoy a wide-ranging tasting of nine superb examples of Finos and Manzanillas, including some rare old wines, as well as, on-trend, ‘en rama’ styles too.

Despite seeing the presentation more times than most there is always something new that leaps out and sticks in our mind. This time it was how important 'rocío' is to keeping the flor alive, by feeding it air and keeping it active. Whilst winemakers want to minimise the impact upon the ‘flor’ - when drawing the next 'saca' and progressing the crideras through the solera - the slight disruption is actually beneficial.

There is much talk about how long flor lasts and when asked, César explained that this is something that will vary from bodega to bodega, depending on their own microclimates, including their location, how many times they extract (saca), humidity, their yeast strains... It's generally agreed that on average it will be up to 8-9-10 years. But you will find some Fino and Manzanilla with more age than this - which technically would make them amontillado but then as the Consejo say, they explain what the bodegas have in common, the producers will tell you what makes them different to each other.

1 of 3
2 of 3
3 of 3

Those who attended said afterwards what an excellent opportunity the tasting presented to really study the difference between Fino and Manzanilla. It is often said to be a fine line, but when you have such a carefully chosen selection, as a taster, you have a moment of revelation, that you've finally got it, the difference between the two! You just need to remember it and test your palate in less favourable conditions. Have fun trying and let us know how you define it...

Sherry Wine tasting list:

  1. Fino La Ina, Lustau
  2. Manzanilla La Gitana, Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana
  3. Fino, Harveys
  4. Manzanilla Solear, Barbadillo
  5. Tío Pepe en Rama 2016, González Byass
  6. Manzanilla (pasada) La Goya, Delgado Zuleta
  7. Fino Perdido, Sánchez Romate
  8. La Guita en Rama, Rainiera Pérez Marín
  9. Fino Antique, Bodegas rey Fernando de Castilla

This event took place at The Big Fortified Tasting in London/UK on Friday 22 April, 2016.

If you are interested in attending future Sherry masterclasses check for news and updates on our website or contact us.

Share this Article
Sherry Wines UK
Local news, events, tastings, gastronomy & links to the best of Sherry, nationwide. Official UK office representing #Sherry Wines UK.
Sherry Wines UK @sherrywinesuk
25 April 2016
Share this Article
Stay up to date on the lastest news from the Sherry region and events taking place near you.
Follow us

Meet the maker

Victoria Frutos Climent
Bodegas Real Tesoro &...
José María Quirós Sacaluga
Bodegas Tradición ,...
Reyes Gómez Rubio
Sánchez Romate ,...
Juan Manuel Hidalgo
Emilio Hidalgo ,...
Ignacio Lozano
Osborne , Enólogo
Jan Pettersen
Fernando de Castilla...
Manuel José Valcarcel Muñoz
Bodegas Fundador SLU...
Rocío Ruiz
Bodegas Urium ,...
Salvador Espinosa Rodríguez
Bodegas y Viñedos Díez-Mérito...
José Carlos Garrido Saborido
Bodegas Argüeso ,...


Classic, Passionate & Uniquely Spanish

Receive the latest news from Sherry Wines.

Subscribe now!


Thank you for joining our sherrylover community. We respect your privacy and promise to only send you news and events related to the D.O. Jerez and Manzanilla and their wineries.

In compliance with the current regulations on the Protection of Personal Data, we inform you that any personal data that you have provided to us, will be treated as long as you do not communicate otherwise, by REGULATING COUNCIL OF THE DENOMINATIONS OF ORIGIN "JEREZ-XÉRÈS -SHERRY "," MANZANILLA-SANLÚCAR DE BARRAMEDA ", and" VINAGRE DE JEREZ "in order to provide the requested services, answer your questions and send you information that may be of your interest. The recipient may exercise their rights of access, rectification, deletion, opposition, limitation of processing, data portability and not be the subject of automated individualized decisions (including the preparation of profiles), sending signed request by postal mail with subject "Data Protection ", To the address: Avda. Alcalde Álvaro Domecq, 2. 11.402, Jerez de la Frontera. Cádiz, clearly indicating the contact information and sending a copy of your identity document. You can also exercise the right to file a claim with the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (