Sherry and Scotch: an auld alliance

The Sherry industry may be enjoying a mini revival of its own these days, but an important  – although rarely scrutinised – part of its business is tied to the booming Scotch whisky category.

barrelAs Speyside whisky producer Glenfarclas prepares to launch a limited edition 1966 Fino Cask expression, the drinks business accompanied its team on a visit to their long-term Sherry* cask supplier, Bodegas José y Miguel Martin in Huelva.

Turn the pages for a glimpse of a process which ranges from harvest through to coopering and the different stages of cask preparation to make sure that distillery customers around the world receive just the right vessel for their particular product.

*Since it is based in Huelva, the bodega lies outside the DO Jerez and is therefore not technically a Sherry producer, although its fortified wines are made in a similar way.

3 Responses to “Sherry and Scotch: an auld alliance”

  1. Jonathan Cahill says:

    Unclear why there is this constant delusion regarding the revival of sherry. A market which has declined by around 35% over the last five years seems to indicate a distinctly Pyrrhic revival.

  2. Gabriel Savage says:

    It is true that overall Sherry sales continue to decline, however this is due to the big volume, cheaper styles which have struggled to retain the audience they enjoyed during the 70s. The revival is driven by the smaller volume, higher value Sherries which are winning over a new generation of fans. The wave of new Sherry-focused bars in London, the number of houses releasing niche expressions such as “en rama” styles, and positive reports from major retailers including M&S all point to a renaissance for the high quality end of this category.

  3. Valeska says:

    Sherry wines are a very little portion of the wine cake, and as well explained by Gabriel, terrible practices in the 60’s destroyed the reputation of some of the best world wines, the most complexe and source of major R&D in oenology.

    Sherry revival is not measured in terms of volume but in quality. Recovering the reputation is not easy. Of course, for the business to be sustainable in the long term it needs to transform good reputation on effective sales, and from my point of view (being based in Jerez in wine marketing) the strategy lacks of direct to consumers actions and a mindset renewal.

    In any case, sherry wines from Andalusia are unique and emotive.

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