The Sherry region of Spain is one of the country’s oldest and most traditional; but did you know it also one of the most dynamic? While many historic regions remain stuck in the past, Sherry is forging a new future.
Over the past couple of years, numerous (sometimes radical) changes have been discussed, including “unfortified” Sherry and new grape varieties.
Join Sherry expert Lucas Payà as he helps to uncover the vibrant transformation of one of the world’s great wine regions.
Lucas Payà, DipWSET, is an independent consultant and speaker working in collaboration with several world-class firms dedicated to wine, beverage, and culinary culture. He has worked as a head sommelier for legendary chefs Alain Ducasse in London as well as with Ferran Adrià at elBulli in Roses, Spain.
Additionally, he ran the Wine & Beverage program for José Andrés’ restaurants in the United States and abroad. Since 2016 Lucas has been working as the House of Lustau U.S. National Brand Educator. He is the creator of the Certified Sherry Wine Specialist program (CSWS®) and teaches the course with the Wine Scholar Guild.
He is a Spanish Wine Scholar as well as a member of the prestigious L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
Of all the styles of sherry, palo cortado is the most ambiguous, and indeed, deliberately so. The Consejo Regulador, sherry’s governing body, defines every other style of sherry in relatively specific detail, yet when it comes to palo cortado, the rules describe it simply as a wine combining the delicacy and aromatic refinement of an amontillado with the structure and body of an oloroso. In addition, nothing is mentioned about its method of production, which further allows the definition of palo cortado to be left open to interpretation.
Jerez is among the older wine regions in the World, with nearly 3,000 years of continued wine activity. Over the centuries, wine production has evolved into very unique methods of production and a whole series of different wines of very strong identity, which were finally regulated under the first DO appellation in Spain, 85 years ago. But wine production continues to evolve in the Sherry region and local winemakers are now experimenting beyond the DO rules to find new ways of expressing the true identity of the Jerez soil, climate, and cultural roots. Join us as we explore the key moments in the history of Sherry wines, understand how the DO was established, and investigate some of the new oenological developments in the region.
César was born in Jerez, Spain, and, although closely related to the world of the Sherry bodegas since his very early days, César started working as a firm consultant in Madrid. He returned to Jerez in 1985 to join the Sherry trade, first as an Export Manager at González Byass´ International Division and then at The House of Sandeman as Commercial Director, with marketing and sales responsibilities over both the Sherry and the Port side of the company.
In 2000 he joined the Consejo Regulador de las Denominación de Origen de los Vinos de Jerez as General Manager where he interacts with the more than 2,000 growers and approximately 90 bodegas (wine shippers). In his position, César spends a significant part of his time lecturing on Sherry wines and Brandy de Jerez, both in Jerez and internationally.
Apart from his position at the Consejo, César Saldaña is a member of some of the Spanish official bodies involved in the promotion, regulation, and protection of Spanish quality wines and spirits. He is also General Manager of the Regulating Body for Brandy de Jerez and President of the Ruta del Vino del Marco de Jerez, the leading wine route in Spain, with over 100 members and more than 580,000 visitors in 2018!
In this episode, we are chatting with Rick Fisher, Spanish Wine Scholar Education Director, about Sherry styles and getting a behind-the-scenes peek at the forthcoming Spanish Wine Scholar Program.