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Sherry Bodega Visit: Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana

In September 2010 I visited several sherry bodegas. Here are pictures and a few notes from Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, which is located in Sanlucar de Barrameda. 

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(La Gitana is their most famous brand. It's a manzanilla; similar to fino but aged in Sanlucar.)

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(The bodegas were wonderfully old, moldy, and dusty.)

Bodega Hidalgo La Gitana bulfight poster2_tn
(One of the old bullfight posters taped to the wall in the bodega.)

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(Our host, a curmudgeonly sort who basically disagreed with everything we learned all week. We liked him anyway.)

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(A view of the bodega.)

 

  • More humidity and less exreme temperature swings in Sanlucar
  • Flor is thicker and remains year round
  • Make a single-vineyard manzanilla. It may be the only single vineyard sherry
  • The vineyards and grapes not nearly as important as the place where the solera is
  • Sanlucar is the oldest part of the sherry region- producing wines there the longest
  • Most of the casks in these bodegas over 200 years old. They hate new casks. 
  • Replace staves with staves from old casks bought on market
  • La Gitana has 14 level solera. 
  • Manzanilla typically has more ciraderas (levels to the solera) than fino. Have to move it faster between levels.  
  • Tastes like salt spilled in the relish. Yum.
  • Manzanilla can pair with asparagus- is most versatile with food
  • Says you can leave an open bottle in the refrigerator 4-5 years and it will still be good 
  • During the peninsular war, they supplied both Napoleon and the Allies. Now have both Napoleon and Wellington brands. 

 

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

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