Jerez de la Frontera - Fact 3

Tasting for the refined sherry connoisseur © Michelle Chaplow
Tasting for the refined sherry connoisseur.


Fortified wines were first exported to England from Jerez as long ago as the 14th century; some British Catholics fled here in the 16th century and started up as wine-traders. Later, in the 17th century, others opened their own bodegas (Garvey, Duff-Gordon, Wisdom & Warter). These Anglo/Scottish/Irish-Spanish families - Byass, Harveys, Osborne, Sandeman, Williams & Humbert, and Terry - became known as "Sherry Barons", developing their own individual social class, a sort of anglophile Spanish wine aristocracy, giving the city the reputation as home of the señoritos (toffs), set apart from the rest of Andalucia. These families are well-know for their love of horses (see Fact IV). The continuing strength of this British link shows clearly in the fact that Britain is still the main market for sherry.