The history of this bodega extends back to the eighteenth century (1758), when Don Joseph Colom Darbo, a prominent Barcelona businessman, founded a wine merchants in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Over a hundred years later this establishment was taken over by Don Manual Hidalgo Colom, who developed the business further and launched the house of 'La Cigarrera' on the Manzanilla market. To this day, the business is run by the Hidalgo Garcia de Velasco brothers, who are part of a new generation of entrepreneurs who continue to attach great value to the history and traditions of the region.
La Cigarrera is located in the historic centre of Sanlucar. In this outstanding location - under the auspices of the 'Manzanilla de Sanlùcar de Barrameda' and 'Jerez-Xérès-Sherry' denominations - not only are Fino/Manzanilla made, but also Oloroso, Amontillado, Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez. Towards time-honoured tradition and know-how.
D.O. Jerez y Manzanilla: Sherry is wine with a designation of origin that can only be made in the southernmost part of Spanish Andalusia. This sherry region is officially named D.O. Jerez (Xérès) Sherry y Manzanilla. This region forms a large triangle on the map between Sevilla and Cádiz. It's a beautiful area with picturesque white villages, rolling vineyards, exquisite palaces and a lively street life.
Inland, at the heart of the region, is the city of Jerez de la Frontera. It is from here that the wine derives its name. Sherry is in fact an anglicisation of Sherris, the old Moorish name for Jerez. A lot of bodegas are to be found in the old Moorish city centre. You can nibble on delicious small eats in its many tapas bars, washed down with a little glass of sherry. You can also find a lot of bodegas in the fishing village of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This village is famous for a special sort of sherry, Manzanilla. The third most important place for sherry is the harbour city of Puerto de Santa Maria. Sherries have been shipped from here for hundreds of years.
There are two reasons why the sherry region is particularly suited to the production of this special wine. Firstly, the climate is extremely favourable to growing grapes. It's very hot in the summer, cooled by a west wind off the sea. Secondly, the region has a particular soil, known as Albariza. It is dazzlingly white in colour and very chalky. This allows the grapes to develop their elegant taste and aroma. This chalky soil is very good at absorbing rainwater. So the vines can always find an adequate supply of water in the soil, even in the dry summer months. Most of the grapes are grown on Albariza. Two other soil types are also found here: Barro (clay) and Arena (sand). Only a very small share of the grapes are grown on these two types of soil.
The Palomino grape accounts for 95% of the vines, making it by far the most important grape for sherry. Although Muscat (called Moscatel in Spain) and Pedro Ximénez are also used. Both of these grape varieties are frequently left to dry in the sun after harvesting. Their water evaporates and their sugar content becomes more concentrated. These dried grapes are used to make sweet wines. They are also used to make dry sherries a little sweeter.
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