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The wine bodegas are sometimes referred to as the other "cathedrals" of Spain. It is not possible to condense a full day wine tour down to a few pages but hopefully the following will give you some sense of the experience.

It was on a previous trip to Spain, I was introduced to Spanish Sherry wine. We had stopped at a restaurant in a small community and to our surprise a complimentary small glass of wine was brought to the table in addition to the red wine we had ordered. "Es gratis" the waiter told us, "complements of the house".

We were confused, we had a full glass of red wine for the meal and here, we thought, was a second smaller glass of red wine for us too. We tasted the complimentary wine, to our surprise it had a rich, sweet, wine taste. This I believe was my first encounter with Sherry wines.

Ever since I have had that first sip, I have tried to find a Sherry that tasted like the one I had at that small town restaurant

Returning to Spain in 2006, Madrid and Beyond arranged for us private tours of the Sherry wine Bodegas of the Jerez region.

We started our full day tour with our wine guide picking us up right at our hotel.

The first stop on the Sherry wine tour was the Fernando de Castilla Bodega, where we were introduced to the fundamentals of Sherry wine making.

One secret to producing the lighter Sherry wine is not the careful growing of the grapes, as in regular wines, but the careful nurturing of the yeast (flor) that gives these Sherries their characteristic taste.

Photo Above - the Wine God (yep, that is how the dog's name translated), this breed of dog has historically protected the wine Bodegas.

Photo Above - Our guide and a bodega official lead the way into the wine cellars.

Photo Above - After a tour of the wine cellars we get a chance to taste the sherry.

Now, sherry come in a variety of sweetness, some are very dry. Those with a more refined taste generally prefer the dry sherries, I have a preference for the sweeter sherries Never the less, during the sherry tour I did grow to appreciate the smoothness of a high quality dry sherry.

Go to page 2 of our Sherry wine tour

A more authoritative article on sherry written by our guide

Or view our tour of the Rioja wine region

wine tasting

Use my recommended Travel Agent to book your own Wine Tour.

Working with excellent local contacts, Madrid & Beyond opens up some of the best-kept secrets of Spain for the traveler. Personal guides, private wine tours, walking and bicycling excursions, balcony seats for the running with the bulls are just a few of the possibilities.

Note: Madrid and Beyond arranges trips in their entirety, not segments or single nights. Also Note: Madrid and Beyond's focus is on unique accommodations and three star hotels or above.

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This page last updated February 2007
Information on this page comes from my October 2006 visit to Spain