Spain Sherry Balsam

Byodo Spain Sherry Balsamico

Sherry Balsam – Tradition, Passion & Conviction

It is revolutionary to believe in the "organic idea" right in the middle of a traditional sherry-growing region such as Jerez. So far there have been only two organic wine growers - one of them is Rafael from the vineyard San Cayetano. We visited him for the first time in 2008. We knew right from the first visit that we shared the same philosophy. Our new partner was delighted that by our partnership his conviction of organic cultivation was at last taken seriously. In a country like Spain, which is renowned for its numerous organically produced goods it was, however, a real challenge for Rafael to support organic farming on his vineyard - especially in the very traditional region of Jerez.

The microclimate in the region between the Atlantic Ocean and the rivers Guadalquivir and Guadalete creates an evenly balanced temperature and guarantees constant humidity. Both factors are decisive for the barrel maturation of sherry vinegar.

Rafael works together with one of the oldest Bodegas (= wine cellar) of the region - thick walls, high arches and a sandy soil are typical. The traditional Solera-/Criadera-procedure is unique and characteristical of Jerez. The attachment to tradition and the courage to believe in organic products in this region make Rafael the perfect partner for Byodo.

Grapes for the sherry
Grapes for the sherry
Silva Rimanek (Purchasing manager Byodo), Andrea Sonnberger (owner and managing director Byodo) und Rafael Garcia Arana from the vineyard San Cayetano
Silva Rimanek & Andrea Sonnberger from Byodo together with Rafael Garcia Arana
Storage of the sherry barrels
Storage of the sherry barrels

Information on production

The high art of barrel-aging the vinegar lies in the controlled mixture of young and older vinegars with similar charateristics.

Several oak barrels are piled up one upon the other. The barrels on the bottom are called "Solera" the row of barrels above are named "Criaderas". The vinegar used for the further process is always taken from the bottom row. Thereby only 1/3 of the barrel content is extracted. The missing amount will then be filled up with vinegar form the row above. The second row will then again be filled up with vinegar from the overlying row and so on. This concept is continued right up to the top barrel row. The extracted amount in this row is replaced with young sherry. In this way the young sherry travels from the top to the bottom passing through the whole system while constantly mixing with older vintages.

This method contributes to the typical dark-golden colour and to the unique flavour of sherry-vinegar - invensive, dry and rich with an aroma tasting of wood. Because many of our customers prefer a well-rounded vinegar flavour, we chose the sherry-balsamico variant. By adding grape juice concentrate the sherry balsam receives a well-balanced aroma.