Monday, December 09, 2013

Tio Pepe Sherry Tasting in Jerez

Aside from the amazing tocino del cielo, Jerez is also known for its sherry production.  Sherry is fortified wine from white grapes grown in this Andalucian province.  Naturally, Jerez is home to over 20 sherry bodegaas.

The most famous bodega is Bodegas González Byass, also known as Bodegas Tio Pepe.  It is one of the biggest sherry houses, just next to the Alcázar and Cathedral.  Their sherry production opened in 1835 by Manuel María González Angel, who partnered with Robert Blake Byass.  The infamous sherry, Tio Pepe, was named after his favorite uncle and advisor, Tio Pepe.  The bodega opened in 1963 and has expanded over the years.  Today the company is run by 4th and 5th generation González family members.

The best way to learn about this bodega and the process of sherry production is by taking their tour.  There are several tours throughout the day in English, Spanish, German, and French.  Reservations can be made online and you pay when you get there.  The tours include 2 to 4 tastes of sherry and an option for tapas with your tasting.  It's only 18.50 Euro for 4 tastings and tapas.  It's worth it, and the sherry buzz you get afterwards is fun.

Tio Pepe Statue

Outside Bodegas Tio Pepe/Bodegas Gonzalez Byass

Ticket to tour, and drink!

The entrance and start of the tour

Inside the welcome reception area

Touring around the property

Barrels displaying Tio Pepe's worldwide reach

Including the Philippines!

Map of their vineyards

Anticipating the harvest

Barrels and barrels

Taking a train ride around the property

A little sample of their grapes

Prepping barrels for storage

The image of Tio Pepe

New and old working together

Venues for special events

A perfect place for a celebration

The old storage room

Barrels signed by the royal family

And even the king himself

Countless barrels signed by famous personalities.  Sir Winston Churchill

Pablo Picasso

And even Steven Spielberg

Walking around the beautiful grounds

The tasting building

Spacious and modern

A perfect end to the tour!  Salud!

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