Waitrose stocks a broad and diverse range of sherries from some of the region's finest producers. Find out a little more about some of the most famous and innovative sherry houses and the wonderful wines they create.
Hidalgo - La Gitana
The Hidalgo family originally came from northern Spain but settled in Andalucia and started making wine in 1792. The company has been passed down through six generations, and is still owned and run by the Hidalgo family. It is now one of only a handful of fully independent Sherry producers.
To ensure quality, they only use grapes grown in their own vineyards. All the wines are aged in American oak casks, some of which are older than the company itself! And although they make all styles of sherry they specialise in Manzanilla. La Gitana means ‘the gypsy girl’ and is one of the most popular Manzanillas in Spain. Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry is bone dry and refreshing, it has apple, straw and nutty flavours with a hint of salty tanginess from Sanlúcar’s sea breezes. Brilliant as an apéritif with almonds or olives. IWC awards 2005: Gold medal; Manzanilla Trophy; Great Value Trophy.
Back in 1835, a young Manuel Maria Gonzalez arrived in Jerez on the strength of the thriving sherry business. He acquired a small cellar and begun to prepare and export his own wine. Shortly after, due to the growing success of his company, he formed a partnership with Mr Robert Blake Byass, his agent in England, hence the Gonzalez Byass name.
It’s a large company, with over 700 hectares of vines, and has invested in a winegrowing research programme to further improve quality control. Today, it’s renowned worldwide for the Tio Pepe sherry brand and is also a leading producer of Spanish brandy.
Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla
Founded by the Andrada-Vanderwilde family in 1837, Fernando de Castilla produce premium quality sherry, brandy and vinegar from their historic cellars in Jerez. The family have been among the largest landowners in Andalucía for three centuries and have tened vineyards in the Jerez region since the early 1800's.
This small, independent house has always retained its prestigious, premium focus. In 1999 Jan Pettersen, a Norwegian winemaker with a passion for sherry and 15 years experience at Osborne, was brought in to revitalise production. He's enjoyed great success at the bodega, creating fresh, modern sherries whilst maintaining the longstanding Fernando de Castilla traditions.
Under Jan's expert guidance, the house now produces an exceptional range of fine, untreated sherries from individual unblended soleras. The stunning intensity and complexity achieved in their Antique range has ensured their position as masters of sherry making for many years to come.