Reyes Gómez Rubio
How long have you been working in Sherry and for how long have you been working at this Bodega?
I have been working in this bodega for 13 years now. I did my professional work placement here and ended up staying. I started as a laboratory assistant and gradually worked my way up to where I am now, in technical management. I used to work at Sánchez Romate in the mornings, have lunch at the bodega and then study in the afternoons at the Cádiz University campus in Puerto Real. It wasn’t particularly easy, but I got used to it. Those afternoons also gave me the opportunity to consult at the university on any questions which arose at the bodega in the morning. Quite a luxury!
What made you want to become a Sherry winemaker?
It all started when I began studying chemical engineering which, as you will know, is a subject with a wide range of possible careers, so I could have ended up in any one of them. However I was attracted to life in the bodega and decided to focus my professional career on wine, and in particular at Sánchez Romate.
What wine are you proudest of and why?
One of the wines I am most proud of is the range I created myself: “Unusual Sherries”. They have special characteristics which make them different and they have a very original design. I also have a special love for them as I was pregnant at the time. In fact, I am a member of the Consejo Regulador tasting panel but had to take leave from that and return later when I had given birth.
What is your favourite Sherry and why?
Amontillado in general, and NPU in particular. This is a serious wine without doubt. Another excellent wine is Fino Perdido, which has minimum filtration and retains the same colour it had in the butt.
What is your favorite Sherry wine pairing?
I am a great cheese lover so personally I would recommend Amontillado NPU with one of our local cheeses, like Payoyo for example. Together they make a fabulous combination!
Sherry is so unique to other wines -- what Sherry fact do you find most interesting?
The production methods used in this area. In fact I have many colleagues in the wine trade who have confessed to being envious of me for having the opportunity to work where I do.
The processes in the bodegas here are unique, and the sheer variety of different types of wine we can produce from the same base wine is quite amazing. Generally the wines of Jerez are very delicate and you need to look after them carefully. Another notable feature is the great variety of characteristics in the same type of wine depending on the bodega which produced it. There is an extraordinary wealth of nuances in this area.
Lastly I would make special mention of the great Spanish chefs who bring their vision and experience to help improve and optimise the wines.
What plans for innovation and development do you have and where do you see the future for Sherry?
I see the future of Sherry getting better all the time because young people are taking an ever greater interest in the wine. There can be no doubt that this was the “missing link” for Sherry.
There are more and more tastings, symposia and lectures specially oriented towards young people, and from my point of view that is fundamental: educating the new generations.
As to innovation and development we are always looking to go forward using new technologies but without losing any of our tradition. Another very important aspect is to keep giving the vineyards the respect they deserve.
What are your earliest memories of Sherry wines?
It was thanks to my grandmother. She instilled moderate wine consumption in us as children. I used to eat very little and was a bit puny so my grandmother would prepare me a drink called “Candié” – egg yolk, sugar, sweet wine and a little lemonade – and I loved it! But I doubt I would be able to drink it now, she says with a smile.