The fortified wines from Jerez de la Frontera, known in English under the denomination of Sherry, have a great history indeed. First of all, it is essential to understand what are the main characteristics of this delicious distilled drink. Fortified wines are the ones to which a certain amount of alcohol has been added to slightly raise its ultimate alcoholic content.
The most renown fortified wines come from Southern Europe: Port wines, Marsala, Madeira, and of course Sherry. The vineyards of the Jerez region are the oldest worldwide, with a monoculture of Palomino grape and its sub-varieties of Palomino fino, Palomino basto and Palomino de Jerez.
In the 12th century, after the settlement of the families which would constitute the great dynasties of Sherry, the wines of Jerez began to be exported mainly to England. This exportation represented a real boom for the industry at that time, and the wines became famous worldwide for almost two centuries. Then followed a time of decadence with subsequent decline in quality and production. Sherry wines got to be considered as cheap and were often known in the USA as cooking sherry, a wine especially aromatic and perfect for the preparation of tasty dishes.
Fortunately, everything started to change 20 years ago when the “Consejo Regulador” began to introduce age statements. Small bodegas which had escaped the process of industrialization began to promote Premium wines with such labels as “Muy Viejo” or “Viejísimo” until finally, the official authority decided to introduce clear rules and fixed age boundaries. That way the VORS label, a Latin acronym for Vinum Optimun Rare Signatum, was created in 2001.
Ten years after Robert Parker came to Jerez and fell in love with the small artisan wineries and their Premium wines, and the Wine Advocate acknowledged the extreme reliability of the VORS label as a guarantee for unique wines of the higher standard.
However, a question remains: How can we prove the age of such a particular type of wine which is, in reality, a type of mixture elaborated through a solera system?
To give a reliable response, the Consejo Regulador defined a specific process with three main criteria:
1- Carbon 1 laboratory evaluation.
2- Solera quota: the winery has to keep a stock of each wine that equals 30 times the volume of the commercialized product
3- Tasting Committee with professionals and members of the Consejo Regulador.
Finally, we need to remark the importance of the authority which accepts or not a wine as VORS the previously mentioned Tasting Committee. Only less than 10% of the submitted sherry wines are accepted as VORS.
Terra Traditions preferred bodega is Bodegas Tradición. This bodega has an impressive aging cellar with the most traditional artisan methods. It only commercializes VORS wines of the highest standards, on the edge of greatness. The Wine Advocate magazine has been rating the wines produced by Bodegas Tradition with the best punctuations. The cellar is located at the heart of Jerez de la Frontera in the San Telmo area. The original bodega was created in 1650 and was an accredited provider for Spain’s and Portugal Royal Families. It was 20 years ago when Don Joaquin Rivero, a member of the original founding family who was especially famous for his outstanding art collection, created this new brand. That way our guests always have had the opportunity to complete their wine adventure with the visit of one of the best private Art Collections in southern Spain, with highlights featuring Velazquez, Goya, El Greco, Murillo, and Zurbaran amongst others. A unique experience if you want to delve into this Spanish delicacy, Sherry Explorers, a private tour from Seville with an exclusive visit to a premium Sherry winery including lunch at a restaurant with wine pairings.