We stayed up a LITTLE late on Adam’s last night with us in Madrid, but it happens pretty easily. A little late only because we left for Jerez (Hair-ez) at 6 am. It’s pretty easy to stay up late in Spain though, considering we didn’t get to the restaurant until 10:30, get seated until 11 and get done eating until after midnight! Learning the culture is important and THIS is the culture!I digress, but it did make the drive VERY interesting…
For those that don’t know, Adam was with us for a lot of reasons, but mainly for work he was translating. He left us to head back to his day job and we had 2 more days in Spain without knowing any Spanish. Turns out we know Spanish a little better than we thought, but Adam also helped a ton with getting to that point. Between Jay last trip and Adam this trip, we were set up for success.
The 6 hour drive south to Jerez was a bit much, but TOTALLY worth it. We traveled to go try to procure some Sherry to import. For those that haven’t had Sherry or haven’t had the Sherry experience needed to love it, I am sorry. Some day soon we hope to help you get to that point. For me, Sherry is one of the best wines there is and I was beyond stoked to see it more in depth.
The drive was beautiful, although calling the drive beautiful would be under selling its true look. The picture below is ALL olives. Olives as far as the eye could see. in both directions for nearly half the trip. That would equate to around 200 miles. I promise, I am not exaggerating.
We drove straight to the winery of Bodegas Urium, which is in downtown Jerez, just as many of the wineries here are. We spent almost 3 hours with one of the owners, Rocio, and her husband joined us for part of the time. We JUST missed her dad, who is the one who started the winery, but hopefully someday soon we will get to meet him as well. Below are some pictures of Perdo Ximinez (he-men-ez) grapes and the soil that is natural and so important to Sherry, Albariza. Albariza is a light, white, almost chalky soil that is unique in its own way to this region.
Tasting and getting to see the process of making Sherry with people as nice as those from Bodegas Urium was an experience unlike any other. For more in depth information about Sherry, keep following and I will do a deep dive on a separate blog and discuss more.
For now, what I will say is this. Sherry is not only an after dinner or before dinner drink. Sherry is not that, cheap, comes in a sack, thing you only cook with. Sherry is a complex, intricate and is arguably the most unique wine in the world. Sherry also might be the most versatile wine in the world as well. From cocktails, to full dinners with only Sherry. Sherry is a process driven wine, meaning, the process to make it is SO important and so painstaking, that only a labor of true love will be able to get it done. No one who doesn’t truly love making sherry would want to do it, and this is no more evident than when speaking with people who do.
Blair went into this part of the wine procurement process knowing that he would learn alot but not exactly liking Sherry. He, as anyone else who gets to see and experience this, left with a thirst to learn more about one of the coolest things being made in the world.
We will do the best we can to re create this experience for as many people as possible so they can learn to love Sherry as much as we do.
After our wonderful trip there we went to Albala, which is a Michelin Star rated restaurant the owners of Bodegas Urium suggested. Not always does that mean the restaurant is going to be THAT good, but in this case it was. It was also very reasonably priced, which was unexpected.Side Note: After eating it AGAIN I have decided that Octopus is my favorite thing in the world to eat
We then drove to Cadiz, which is about 20 minutes from Jerez and located right on the water. This is essentially on the TIP of Spain right near Africa and not far from the Strait of Gibraltar.
The city of Jerez and the city of Cadiz were two of my favorite in Spain we have been too. I know I have said that a lot, but they keep getting better!
One thing I do know is this: Spain is more diverse than I ever thought possible. Each one of these regions we have been too felt like its own country, and the towns of Jerez and Cadiz were no different.
Jerez was my choice for – where would you live of all the places we went to in Spain?
To me it is exactly what someone thinks of when they think of Spain, which not many other places we went hit home for me like that. Cadiz, Malaga, Jerez, Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada…. these are all cities in the southern part of Spain not far from each other and they have the history and Spain-ness (for lack of a better word) in common.
Not that I didn’t love each region for what it was, they all have their charm and elegance, but something about Jerez was second to none for me.
Maybe it’s because I could see myself living there with my family some day. We wont’, HA! but it was that cool of a town. Maybe it was because it was the best mix of history, wine, food and culture. I am not exactly sure. All I know is, when I was there, I loved it more than I ever expected.
It’s time to go home now though, and we live in the morning to head back to the USA.
Thanks for following along on this second round to Spain, I appreciate all the support.
Check back soon as I start up a few different categories of blog to really start diving in to some new topics.
Until next time, Spain