The name Jerez applied to wine and its translations "Xeres" and "Sherry" and the name "Manzanilla" are designations of origin.
The concept of a Denomination of Origin alludes to the usage of specific terms, generally the names of places, cities or regions, in order to refer to a product which, due to its origin and specific production method, is especially valued by consumers. To a certain extent it may be considered to be a kind of "collective brand" applied to all products of a certain type which also come from a particular place.
...the first to be constituted according to the terms of the Spanish Wine Statute of 1933, which means that we are talking about the oldest Consejo in Spain.
El Consejo Regulador
The 3 Denominations of Origin
In our specific case, those wines produced in the Jerez region in accordance with specific traditional processes and fulfilling specific conditions are legally protected by the Denominations of Origin "Jerez-Xérès-Sherry" and "Manzanilla - Sanlúcar de Barrameda". In addition, another agro-food product also exists within the Jerez region, one which in the year 1994 achieved the status of a Denomination of Origin: "Vinagre de Jerez" (Sherry Vinegar).
Not all the wines and vinegar produced in the region enjoy the protection of these Denominations: there are companies in the region which produce table wines - mostly white wines but in recent years also reds. However, as neither the methods used nor the types of wine obtained meet the strict requirements of the Regulations, these wines are unable to belong to the Denominations of Origin.
Equally, although other wine-growing areas produce wines which are similar in style to those of the Jerez region and use methods which are also comparable, the fact that they do not originate in the region defined by the Denomination of Origin means that they are unable to make use of terms such as Jerez, Sherry or Manzanilla.
If we are to speak of products as having a Denomination of Origin, then two different elements must coincide: the origin and production process.
CONSEJO REGULADOR | Functions
Control and Certification
One of the functions common to any Consejo Regulador is that of controlling quality and guaranteeing the origin of those products under its protection. Bearing this in mind the Consejo Regulador of Jerez includes within its Regulations a set of obligatory rules regarding every stage of the producvtion process which begins in the vineyard and ends when the wine is purchased by the consumer.
In order to guarantee the quality of the product the Consejo Regulador has set up a stepped control procedure.
1 - Vineyards and growing techniques
The registration of vineyards in the Register of the Consejo Regulador is an essential requirement if the grapes and must produced are to be classified for the production of Sherry. This registration involves the verification by the Consejo Regulador of the suitability of the soil as well as the use of authorised varieties. Throughout the year the services of the Consejo will verify fulfilment of the norms laid down in the Regulations concerning growing, pruning, irrigation control, etc... They also monitor the ripeness of the grape prior to harvesting.