Gonzalez Byass

The iconic roadside Tio Pepe Logo © Michelle Chaplow
The iconic roadside Tio Pepe Logo

Their most famous sherry, Tio Pepe (you´ll recognise the logo, a bottle with a red hat and jacket, and a guitar), gives its name to these bodegas. The company dates from 1835, which makes it one of the newer of the great sherry dynasties in Jerez.

Located in the heart of the city, this is the largest of Jerez's bodegas - the sizeable ones are all like small towns, complete with named streets; here in Tio Pepe, you ride on a miniature train. On the tour, you´ll see an unusual, circular pavilion with an impressive dome designed by Gustav Eiffel; historic barrels (botas) and bottles dating back centuries; and, probably the most fun part, barrels signed by illustrious visitors including Lady Thatcher, Martin Luther King and Orson Welles, as well as, more recently, renowned Andalucian chef Dani Garcia. The sweet, musty aroma of the various wines being aged in their barrels - another well-known brand, popular in the UK, is Croft Original - pervades the whole place.

Look out for the drunken mice who enjoy a tipple - the dogs employed to keep the bodegas clear of unwelcome four-legged visitors, called 'bodegueros', are bigger versions of Jack Russell terriers.

Calle Manuel Maria Gonzalez. Tel 956 357 016

Daily tours from 12 midday. Excellent shop.

For more information on sherry click here.


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