With famous Sherry imbibers of the past -- most notably Queen Elizabeth and William Shakespeare -- sherry's long and colorful history actually dates back to the early Phoenician settlement of the Iberian peninsula in the 11th century BC.
Early Roman settlements eventually adopted the taste for Sherry which was soon exported throughout the Roman Empire as Ceretanum or "wine from Ceret" or the town later known more famously as Jerez, Spain.
As Spain and Portugal came into their own as great naval powers during the Age of Exploration, Sherry went truly international as Christopher Columbus almost certainly had a cask (or two) on board when he sailed to the New World in 1492.
Today, Sherry is still produced in the towns of Jerez, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain's southern Andalucia region where the hardy Palomino Fino grape is in its element. Despite the hot and arid climate, large clusters of the luscious golden yellow fruit thrive in the chalky limestone soil and nonstop sunshine.
Sherry is a fortified wine, which means that some brandy is added to it before it slowly matures in oak casks. Largely depending on the aging and fermentation process perfected over generations, the three basic styles of Sherry are Fino, Amontillado, and Oloroso.
While Sherry's popularity has waned over the past few decades, England still tops the list as its chief country of export - followed by Holland, Germany, and the United States.
of Jerez - Check out an extensive travel and tourism guide to the
heart of Andalucia wine country features the annual
sherry festival, sherry bodega recommendations and tour hours,
related history and attractions.
Wine Information - Discover brief historical notes, information
on the fermentation process, and serving suggestions..