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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Jerez de la Frontera is synonymous with sherry (the very word is an Anglicization of Xeres or Jerez), and according to DOP regulations it can only be made in the ‘Sherry triangle’ – Jerez, Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

Made with white Palomino grapes, the wine is then fortified to various degrees, from pale dry Fino and Manzanilla to Oloroso and the very sweet, very alcoholic (up to 22%) Pedro Ximenez.

Many of the bodegas (wine cellars) have a British connection, a love affair that began in 1587 when Sir Francis Drake brought back 2,900 barrels of sherry after destroying the Spanish navy in Cadiz. The tours, some including serious tastings, food and even art, are fascinating; the grandest bodegas are breath-taking wine cathedrals.

While you’re there

After a bodega tour, linger in Jerez to sip more sherry-like a local in its traditional, often quirky tabancos – wine shops combined with tapas bars.

Recommendations

8

Bodega Barbadillo

Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

Looking through an arch down a row of columns

Sanlucar de Barrameda is renowned for its Manzanillas, and Barbadillo, founded in 1821, makes one of the best; visits to their cathedral-like bodega includes a Manzanilla Museum. They also do optional self-guided visits and tastings.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Bodegas Tradicion

Jerez del Fontera, Andalusia, Spain

Close up of oak barrels containing sherry

One of the oldest bodegas, from 1650, and supplier to the British Royal family in the 18th-century, where the tour includes one of Andalusia’s top private art galleries, with works by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco and Zurbaran.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Diez Merito

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

Sherry wine in oak barrels

In the centre of Jerez, a bodega in beautiful vaults dating back to 1760; they also do sherry cooking and vineyard tours, and special tastings of VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry).

Adult price: £10

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Gonzalez Byass

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

Casks stacked in rows with a central pathway through the middle

Founded in 1835, the makers of Tio Pepe (named after the founder’s beloved uncle) offer tours with optional tapas tastings of their stunning bodega in central Jerez, their vast cellars partly designed by Gustave Eiffel.

Adult price: £13

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Jose Estevez

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

Sherry barrels stacked up in rows

A variety of bodega and vineyard tours, plus beautiful horses in the Real Tesoro stud, tack and carriage museums to admire and art by Picasso, Miro, Botero and Dali.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Paladar y Tomar

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

Wooden barrels of sherry being stored

Half-day high end private tours of two completely different bodegas, with tastings and a gourmet lunch with wine pairings, but endlessly adaptable to suit your requirements.

Adult price: £30

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

Duration: Half day

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Sandeman

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain

Exterior of Bodega Sandeman building

Specialists in both sherry and port, founded by Scotsman George Sandeman in 1790 and close to the Royal School of Equestrian Art, so an easy bodega to visit if you’re in Jerez for the horses.

Adult price: £8

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Bodega Osborne

Puerto de Santa Maria, Andalusia, Spain

Exterior of Osborne Bodega, a white low rise building with a bull statue in the foreground, El Puerto de Santa Maria

In Puerto de Santa Maria, book morning tours in English and learn about the sherry and their famous hilltop Osborne black bull silhouettes, so striking they’ve become a symbol of Spain itself.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 18
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

With its many downtown bodegas, Jerez  is perhaps the only wine region you can visit without a car – but’s also a beautiful area to explore behind the wheel. Get inspired by downloading the free Big Book of Sherry Wines and check out the sherry wine road website crammed with useful practical information on visiting the bodegas outside of Jerez, along with restaurants, museums, and a remarkable range of experiences you can book along the way. If you don’t want to drive, Toma and Coe offer 4-day tours of the Sherry Triangle.

When to do it

The bodegas are open all year roundseven days a week, although April and May are ideal, when it’s not too hot, the vines are in full leaf and you can often combine a visit with a fiesta. Late summer, when temperatures have dipped and the vines are laden with grapes is beautiful too; the vineyards will be busy but visitors are welcome, and you can combine a visit to the beach.

Who to go with: organised tours

2

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Discover Sherry in Jerez

Cádiz

Discover Sherry in Jerez
Guided tour to a winery and relaxed Sherry and Brandy tasting straight from the barrel. Introduction to the ancient relationship of the Jerezanos to the wine while walking through the historic center to the bodega (about 15 minutes), visiting places that tell us something about that history. At the winery, we learn first hand everything about the production of Sherry and Brandy. Of course, we also take time to taste these fine wines and spirits, most of them directly in the wine cellar. This tour is designed only for small groups – I prefer a familiar atmosphere.

Price: €54

Min age: 18

Rating 5 / 5 [13 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Cadiz & Jerez Small Group Tour with Sherry Tasting from Seville

Seville

Cadiz & Jerez Small Group Tour with Sherry Tasting from Seville
Explore Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe, savor first quality sherry in Jerez on a comfortable day trip from Seville. Immerse yourself in the most authentic cities in southern Spain, famous for its fresh seafood, excellent sherry colorful architecture, and friendly people.

Price: €279

Min age: 0

Rating 5 / 5 [8 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

3

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

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Close up of the beautiful cathedral from the side

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Seville

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View of the cathedral looking up at the end of the nave and an intricate stone tower

Extravagant and sensuous, Spain’s fourth city entices with brilliant monuments, gardens, tapas bars, flamenco shows and full-on nightlife.