Peter Sisseck acquires famous Sherry solera

Winemaker Peter Sisseck has acquired the small but famous Sherry solera Camborio with the aim of making a top fino – Spain’s “greatest white wine”.

Announced in an article in Spain’s El Mundo today (24 November), the Danish-born Sisseck confirmed to the drinks business that he has acquired the 400 butt solera (arranged in three criadera) from Juan Piñero and an 8 hectare vineyard in the Pago Balbainas, one of Jerez’s most historic and famous districts.

Sisseck explained that the solera used to belong to Angel Zamorano, one of the region’s dying breed of almacenistas who used to age the wines, while the vineyard in the area of El Puerto de Santa María faces seaward and is located at a high elevation for the region – 92 metres above sea level.

He added he was very happy with the vineyard as it was, “always considered very fresh in style but not as light as the Miraflores vineyard in Sanluca for example.”

Sisseck went on that it had been his dream for close to a decade to make wine in Jerez, something he considered a natural, “logical” progression from working on limestone soils at his properties in Ribera del Duero and Saint Emilion.

Furthermore, he was keen to make wine in what he considers to be Spain’s greatest white wine region.

He told db: “I want to make a great white wine, not just a Sherry. Fino for me really is the great white wine of Jerez and of Spain.

“Everybody’s always talking about how Spain needs a great white wine – and they go to Galicia and Rueda and so on and it’s like you can’t see the wood for the trees; all along we’ve had this great white wine in fino.”

His new project – in partnership with Carlos del Rio Gordon-Diez who is related to the owners of Gonzalez-Byass and who Sisseck has worked with at Hacienda Monasterio since 1997 – is not designed to be hugely commercial.

“[It’s] Almost a hobby project,” he said, “we’re really just trying to make the best, best, best wine. It’s not about volume or money.”

Although very ‘boutique’ Sisseck said that (as far as he’d got around to thinking about such things) the wine would not be sold at “astronomic Pingus prices” when it was released.

“On the other hand,” he went on, “I do find it quite ridiculous you can buy some of the best Sherries and finos for €6 a bottle. It’s not sustainable.”

Still in its very early stages, Sisseck said it would not be for another year or so before any wine will be released and the name of the solera is also likely to be changed at some point.

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