Paola Medina Sheldon
How long have you been working in Sherry and for how long have you been working at this Bodega?
I joined Bodegas Williams & Humbert in Jerez in 2010 after working as a winemaker for some years in Ciudad Real.
What made you want to become a Sherry winemaker?
I have been lucky enough to experience the world of Sherry since childhood, to understand it and enjoy it. But together with this connection and family heritage, I have to say that as a winemaker, few wines arouse as much passion as the wines of Jerez, as much for their variety as for their particular methods of production.
What wine are you proudest of and why?
It is difficult to choose just one. I am very excited and motivated about the Williams & Humbert vintage Sherries collection and the new selections in which they have allowed me to innovate with the biological ageing of these wines. This has given me an opportunity to let Sherry lovers get to know a different side to the wine.
What is your favourite Sherry and why?
I like dry wines but in my opinion, every wine has its moment, and in that sense, I like to break the clichés and stereotypes. Therefore I find it impossible to focus on any particular type of wine. One of the great things about Sherry is the sheer number of possibilities it offers like food pairing, cocktails, or just having a glass of good wine. There is always a moment to enjoy a good Sherry!
What is your favorite Sherry wine pairing?
I have a weakness for Japanese cuisine and I like to enjoy it with a good glass of Fino like the Vintage 2009. Another of my favourite dishes is prawn carpaccio and I love to accompany it with Don Zoilo 12-year-old Amontillado. If I decide to have some good Retinto beef I will choose a Palo Cortado like Dos Cortados. Sherry offers many paths to explore. Just recently I discovered from Pepe Ferrer the wonderful harmony of Mexican cuisine and Amontillado.
Sherry is so unique to other wines -- what Sherry fact do you find most interesting?
Few grape varieties offer a winemaker as many opportunities as the Palomino. Sherry is an oenological treasure, different and unique, blessed with a great history and a special method of production. Few wines are as versatile as Sherry.
What plans for innovation and development do you have and where do you see the future for Sherry?
I look at the future of Sherry with optimism and the challenge is to champion the value of this unique wine. We must go for wines which represent our land, our vineyards and our history, consolidate the identity of Sherry as a quality wine. The philosophy of Williams & Humbert is to combine the traditions of more than 140 years of history of making Sherry and Brandy de Jerez with constant innovation, and quality as the clear objective. That is what we are doing with our latest releases such as the limited edition of the Sherries or the new 20-year-old Canasta VOS.
What are your earliest memories of Sherry wines?
Running around and playing among the butts when I was a girl in our family bodega in Sanlúcar without yet being fully aware of the treasure which surrounded me.