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Flashcards in Sherry Deck (61)
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Jerez is in which region in Spain?



What is the general climate of Jerez?

Hot Mediterranean


What are the 2 winds that affect Jerez?

  1. Levante - hot, dry wind that blows from the east.
  2. Poniente - cool, humid, oceanic wind that encourages flor.


What training methods are commonly found in Jerez?

  • En vaso (Bush trained)
  • Vara y pulgar


What are the 3 distinct soil types in Sherry?

Which one is the most important for Palomino?

  1. Albariza
  2. Arena
  3. Barros


What kind of soil is Albariza?

It is a compact, chalky soil.

The soil creates a hard crust after it rains; this crust inhibits evaporation and helps with water retention, especiallly in the summer months.


What condition are vines in Jerez susceptible to and why?

Vines in Jerez are susceptible to chlorosis because of the high limestone content in the soil.


What is the annual rainfall of Jerez and when does it usually fall?

Jerez's average annual rainfall is about 650mm per year and it falls mostly between October-May, making water scarce during the growing season.


How do Jerez viticulturists collect water during the growing season?

They dig aserpias, or water collection troughs, between rows to capture any rain that might fall during the growing season.


What are the 3 major towns of Sherry production?



  1. Jerez de la Frontera
  2. Sanlúcar de Barrameda
  3. El Puerto de Santa Maria

All Sherries must be matured within at least one of these towns' limits.


What are the 2 DOs of Sherry?

  1. Jerez de la Frontera DO
  2. Sanlúcar de Barrameda DO


What are the 3 main grapes of Jerez?

In descending order of importance:

  1. Palomino
  2. Pedro Ximenez
  3. Moscatel (Muscat of Alexandria)


What is the most planted grape in Jerez?


Palomino accounts for roughly 90% of all plantings in Jerez.

Palomino is a neutral grape that's uniformally low in acid.


Is Palomino thin- or thick-skinned?

What does its skin thinness/thickness mean for the grape?

Palomino is thin-skinned.

Due to its thin skin it is susceptible to splitting, causing rot.


What usually happens to Palomino grapes after they are picked?

Palomino grapes are pressed immediately to prevent unwanted oxidation.


What style of wine is the first press of Palomino usually destined for?



What is the standard cask size in Sherry?

600 liters


Traditional Jerez producers will not ferment their Palomino juice in stainless steel, but rather in this vessel.

600 liter neutral oak butts


Barrels used in Sherry are typically French or American?


The use of American oak in Spain dates back to colonial times; American oak also has tight pores.

Only neutral barrels are used in Sherry production.


What is the typical fermentation temperature range for Palomino?

20º - 25ºC (68º - 77º F)

True or False:

Sherries made with Palomino grapes are always fermented dry. 

True - Palomino juice is always fermented dry (Fino, Oloroso, Amontillado).

Sherries such as Medium and Cream are based on Palomino juice but have sweeteners added to them after fermentation as an adjustment.


Which two grapes in Jerez are not fermented to dryness?

Pedro Ximenez and Muscat of Alexandria

Note: Muscat of Alexandria is labeled as Moscatel in Sherry.


In Jerez, what usually happens to Pedro Ximenez grapes after they are picked?

The grapes are laid on mats to dry in the sun for 1-3 weeks, known as the soleo or asoleo process.  This drying in the sun concentrates sugars.


What are the two overarching styles of Sherry?

  1. Biologically aged (e.g. Fino)
  2. Oxidatively aged (e.g. Oloroso)


What is the name of the cellarmaster in Jerez?



What is flor?

Flor is a layer of yeast that spontaneously develops on the surface of a must that has just completed primary fermentation.

It is after the flor develops that the capataz determines which category (Fino or Oloroso) the must is destined to become.


What does flor mainly metabolize?


  • flor also metabolizes other nutrients and glycerin, volatile acids, and acetic acids.


Since flor needs oxygen, how does one promote flor in cask?

By not filling up the barrels all the way, leaving headspace for flor to develop.

600 liter neutral oak casks are typically filled with 500 liters of liquid, leaving plenty of headspace for flor to cultivate.


Flor helps to reduce what in wine?

Flor helps reduce overall acidity in Sherry as it metabolizes volatile and acetic acids.


Flor increases the levels of what in Sherry?

Flor increases acetaldehyde, which smells like almonds and cut apples.