Within the Jerez region the term "bodega" is used not only to refer to the warehouses where sherry wines are stored during their production and ageing, but is also used to describe those companies which are dedicated to the activity.
Those bodega firms belonging to the Denomination of Origin are recorded in the different official registers kept by Consejo Regulador according to the stage of the sherry production and ageing process in which they intervene.
A register also exists for what are known as the "Processing Bodegas" in which those facilities used for pressing grapes and those where they are transformed into base wine during the harvest are registered each year. Given the nature of the process these Processing Bodegas are facilities which are only used for a few months of the year.
Often they are wine-producing facilities belonging to sherry firms which in turn are to be found in the Ageing or Production Register. On other occasions they are independent pressing-houses which sell base wine to the sherry firms.
The ageing and shipping bodegas must necessarily be situated in the localities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, that is to say the “ageing zone”. They are bodegas which comply with the requirements laid down by the regulations for the ageing of protected wines and also their marketing, and thus they can sell bottled wine protected by the Denominación de Origen.
Those sherry companies which appear in the Ageing Bodega Register - collectively known as "almacenistas" (wholesalers) - must also be located within the Ageing and Maturing Zone, that is to say within the municipal boundaries of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María or Sanlucar de Barrameda and must comply with the requirements established in the Regulations of the Denomination of Origin governing the ageing of sherry wine. The wines from these bodegas are always sold on to shipping bodegas which incorporate them into their own ageing systems or use them in the final blending of their commercial brands.
Those municipal areas located within the Production Zone but not included in the Ageing Zone form a substantial part of the Denomination of Origin. In addition to the importance of the registered vineyards situated within these municipal areas, they also include a number of pressing houses or Processing Bodegas, as well as what are known as "Production Bodegas", dedicated to obtaining wines apt to be produced and later aged in bodegas located within the Ageing Zone. In addition to providing this important link in the production chain of those wines protected by the Denomination of Origin, these bodegas may also market their wines directly. These wines are covered by the protection provided by our Regulations and thus have the exclusive right to make use of the names of their respective townships when being marketed, the Regulating Council being responsible for guaranteeing such rights.