Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez de la Frontera is the capital of sherry production and lies some nine miles inland from the sea between Cadiz and Seville in the south of Spain; it’s one the of three main sherry towns, the coastal towns of Sanlucar de Barrameda at the mouth of the river Guadalquivir, and Puerto de Santa Maria, being its two counterparts Between
them they produce virtually all the genuine sherry that is shipped to the rest of the world.
Jerez de la Frontera dates back to the Moorish occupation, and even at this time it became famous for its sweet wines, which the British pronounced "sherry". It is called "de la Frontera" because it once stood on the frontier between the Moorish and the Christian realms.
The home of sherry
There is not much difference between the wines of Jerez and Puerto de Santa Maria, except that the latter are more noted for their fino and amontillado types of sherry. Sanlucar, however, produces quite different wines: all the Manzanilla is made there, with its distinctive fresh flavour that cannot be reproduced anywhere else.
The distinctive wine in Jerez has been exported for centuries, it was even praised by Shakespeare. It is distinctive because the strong sun gives the
grapes a high sugar content.
British merchants have been involved in the wine trade here for centuries, producing and shipping a
fortified wine known as sherry. Famous names of these dynasties can be seen here over the doors of the bodegas; Sandeman, John Harvey, Domecq, Gonzalez Byass.
Jerez de la Frontera is also famous for its love of equestrian sport, the famous stallions of the Real
Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, put on some magnificent performances through the streets during the festival periods.
Jerez de la Frontera has a long-standing flamenco tradition, making it an excellent place to witness this extraordinary art.
The Centro Andaluz de Flamenco is housed in the Palacio de Penmartín, which stands on the Plaza de San Juan, No. 1.
The town has a beautiful old quarter, which dates back to its Moorish occupation; a beautiful area with palm lined squares, an old Moorish fortress and a number of ancient churches.
Eating out in Jerez is a wonderful experience, with many dishes using the local sherry to give the cuisine a distinct flavour. Shellfish and fish are also popular, and there are some excellent restaurants serving the finest local cuisine and ingredients.
Jerez has its own airport, Aeropuerto de la Parra, 7 kilometres north of the town on the road to Seville.
The climate in Jerez de la Frontera is predominantly Mediterranean, with generally hot and dry summers and mild winters. The area is considered a year round destination.