González Byass to open ‘Tio Pepe’ hotel in Jerez

Spanish wine, sherry and brandy producer González Byass is to create a boutique hotel in Jerez, which may be branded Tio Pepe, after the company’s famous fino.

Having just selected an architect for the project, Pedro Rebuelta González, who is vice president of the company, told db at Vinexpo Bordeaux last week that he plans to have an operational hotel in the heart of sherry country by early 2019.

Although he said that the González family, which owns the famous Sherry brand Tio Pepe, have yet to decide on a name for the hotel, he said it would either be branded Tío Pepe or González Byass.

While the company receives over 200,000 visitors annually to its Tío Pepe visitor centre in Jerez, it has yet to create a hotel in the city.

“This will be our first hotel,” he said, although he also told db that the idea to build a hotel in Jerez has been long-running.

“This is the third time we have tried to launch a hotel: we discussed creating one in 2000, but in 2001 we bought Croft, and that was a big investment, so we left the idea of a hotel. Then, in 2007 we discussed again the idea of a hotel, but in 2008 we bought Vinas del Vero, so the idea was left again,” he recalled, referring to the winery in Spain’s Somontano wine region.

But, he added that the current idea is to create something smaller than earlier plans.

“Our previous ideas were for a bigger hotel, but this isn’t going to be big, we are going to have 38 rooms, and it will be an investment of around €5 million,” he said.

In fact, the hotel will fill existing properties owned by González Byass, who have four historic houses that face the cathedral in Jerez – a wonderful seventeenth century building.

These properties were previously used as offices, but Pedro said that they are currently empty.

He also said that he believed there would be a high demand for the hotel, based on the fact that the company already hosts 200,000 visitors annually in Jerez, and holds as many as 80 weddings each year at its Tío Pepe bodega.

“We believe with the weddings, the families of the bride and groom would prefer to stay in our hotel,” he commented.

Due to the company’s existing tourist activity, Pedro said that González Byass has its own catering company, and this would be used to provide meals for hotel guests.

He also said that the ‘sherry hotel’ will be an extension of the existing visitor experience in the city, commenting that it would be designed and built “around the wine”.

Finally, he said that the company was also planning to provide accommodation at its newly-acquired estate in Galicia, called Pazos de Lusco.

Describing the project as more of a casa rural than a hotel, he said that the building would have just six rooms, which would mainly be used for customers of González Byass, although the property would also be available to rent.

The hotel will fill existing properties owned by González Byass, who have four empty historic houses that face the cathedral in Jerez

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