Sevilla - Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera Travel Blog

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Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Frontera.
It's Thursday, so this must be Jerez de la Frontera. This is how this trip of continuous movement began to feel by now, especially since we'd been seeing so much and having so many splendid experiences along the way. But today proved to be very different from the constant sight-seeing of the past week. Having left the excellent Al-Andalus Palace hotel I drove us towards the Cadiz province and the city of Jerez de la Fontera.


Jerez gave it's name to 'sherry', the type of wine that is produced in this area. In the 19th century British investors built the sherry industry in Jerez resulting in a society that evolved from many years of Anadalus and British intermarriage. And the town certainly feels very different from the three former Muslim strongholds we've visited during the past week.

The secret you share with Sandeman.
Sure, it does have its Alcazar (fortress), Banos Arabes, Palacio and many, many churches. But having seen too many of these, those were not really main items on our agenda today. No, Jerez was different. It had its relatively run down areas and has 30% unemployement (resulting in strange characters like the bloke on the bike cruising around town to loudly sing Flamenco songs at your table and asking for money). For some reason the women also got less beautiful the further we moved away from Granada. By the time we reached Jerez they were still around, but much harder to spot. ;-)


Today's hotel was the Gaudalette, were we arrived in the late morning after a short one hour drive.

Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Frontera.
We first had a cup of coffee and I had another failed attempt of uploading some pictures in the Internet corner and we waiting for out rooms to be ready. Mark had spotted a supermercado near the hotel, where we quickly dropped by to stock up on water, snacks, Voll-Damm beers (finally!) and Kinder Surprise eggs. ;-)


And then it was off to the main attraction of the day, one of the sherry bodega's. With so many to choose from the most obvious choice for a family called Sander is ... Sande(r)man. It's also the one that was most familiar to us since our childhood had been filled with many TV commercials about the mysterious 'Don' in his Spanish hat and Portugese cape (representing the sherry and port of the two countries).

Now ... I only need some bricks and mortar. ;-)
The slogan of the brand had been 'The secret you share with Sandeman'. And after all those years we were more than eager to find out what that secret was.


The Sandeman bodega offers tours in various languages for 6,50 Euro, including a taste of three varieties of sherry made by the bodega (Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso). There's a small museum explaining the production process and history of the brand Sandeman but the guide of the tour, Veronica, was even nicer. And thus we discovered the secret of Sandeman, who's actually a Sandewoman, since Veronica came dressed in the Don's hat and cape. She explained the production process and difference of the varieties of sherry before offering us the three glasses to sample each one. We found the higher the alcohol percentage, the sweeter and the better the sherry. We therefore preferred the Sandeman Armada (an Oloroso) above the first two glasses.

Sandewoman !
As you can imagine we were in good spirit when we left the bodega (after buying the obligatory T-shirt) and headed to the city center.


This afternoon we kept the strolling and sightseeing to a minimum and instead spent most of our time on terraces at squares watching the locals and tourists pass by. There also was the strange coincidence of the city having an Edgar Allan Poe year in 2009 while Mark and I had been joking about the author's 'Cask of Amontillado' story earlier on in the bodega. In this tale a man is walled in alive by one of his enemies after being invited to taste some of the great Amontillado stored in the cellar. Among the many banners around the city representing Poe's stories was an excellent depiction of Sandeman's Don holding a trowel instead of a glass of sherry. If only they had sold these as T-shirts !


We had tapas at the far from classy La Vega cafetaria. The tapas were cheap though and tasty enough. After this we grabbed a cab back to the hotel. The strolling, sherry, beers and sunshine had exhausted us, so we called it a relatively early night. Mark and I ended the day with a cool Voll-Damm instead of the regular Licor 43. ;-)

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Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Front…
Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Fron…
The secret you share with Sandeman.
The secret you share with Sandeman.
Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Front…
Sandeman bodega, Jerez de la Fron…
Now ... I only need some bricks an…
Now ... I only need some bricks a…
Sandewoman !
Sandewoman !
Veronica.
Veronica.
Sampling the sherry !
Sampling the sherry !
Being a smartass again at Sande(r)…
Being a smartass again at Sande(r…
Poe festival, Jerez de la Frontera.
Poe festival, Jerez de la Frontera.
Catherdral of Jerez de la Frontera.
Catherdral of Jerez de la Frontera.
Jerez de la Frontera Hotels & Accommodations review
Nice place
Again, a 4-star hotel that offers everything you would expect. There's an outside pool, several bars and restaurants and a nice breakfast buffet. Ther… read entire review