Purple Palate Blog

Sherry Industry- A study of stubborness

“Can I get a bottle of Sherry for cooking?”

That is the main question I receive regularly, and it shows to me that the industry is waning rapidly.

Firstly I’ll talk about Sherry the Spanish Jerez-Xerxes DO and Sanlucar de Barrmenda Manzanilla DOs.

Sherry as a category has dropped from the high of 1979, where it exported 1.5million hectolitres and has been in steady decline to recent years.  As example of this decline 2010 465000 hl with a drop of 20% in 2014 to 364000 hL.

Reasons for this decline are many.

Complacency was a big factor, with too many vines, too higher production level, without the stringent quality controls with too much stock holding in tanks and bottles.

Collapse of their main export consumer, the Dutch, dovetailed with the loss of regular drinkers in the UK due to loss of favourable import duty excise and their 60 year old plus consumer disappearing, as well as the 1980s financial crisis hurt the industry badly and finding new generation of drinkers was difficult with the new generation not viewing sherry as a valid choice.

A personal view for me is also the latest generation of drinkers come from a sugar culture, where sweet fruit flavours and high acidity is enjoyed. (please note this is anecdotal not empirical).

This decline of the sherry industry was partially allayed by producers, laying off workers, increasing mechanisation, reducing crop and yields, as well as companies merging, selling and closing.

As well as creation of new styles to appeal to the consumer with Cream Sherry, and VOR, and VSOR.

Even with all these changes, quality improvement and initiatives the industry is still in decline.

With sales of Cream Sherry making 21%, with Manzanilla 20%,while Fino sales at 22%, and Med/Dry styles 23%. The Rest spread through VDN, Pale cream, and Otres Generosa.

The Bodegas (or Cellars/Shops) are classed into 4 types.

Bodegas de Elaboracion is a producer that makes but cannot mature the wines.

Bodegas de Produccion, is a producer that makes and may age the wines for a short time before selling on

Bodegas Crianza y Almecenado is a producer that makes and may mature wines but must sell for export.

Finally Bodegas Crianza y Expedicion is a producer that makes, matures and exports wines-a vertically integrated business.

A particular storekeeper or Almacenister, may purchase Anada (or young wine) and mature it themselves either vintage or added to their own solera system, after which they may export(like a negociant).  These are now known as Bodegas de Almacendos.

Australian wine industry (originally built on fortified styles) has lapsed it’s sherry style production.  You will now see it call Apera (as the term Sherry is a DO classification, internationally recognised and protected).

The reasons are not much dissimilar to the Spanish industries reasons.

Currently the sale of Sherry Vinegar is proving to be an excellent saleable product especially with the accompanying DO classification protecting  the industry.

So where from here?

That’s great question, and one I hope will be explored by not just the Spanish wine industry but New World wine industries as well.

For me Sherry has a rich history, steeped in tradition and should not be lost to popular culture, as the wheel turns, tastes change and all that is old is new again.






One Response to “Sherry Industry- A study of stubborness”

  1. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my web site so i came to go back the favor?.I’m
    trying to in finding things to enhance my website!I guess its ok to use some of your concepts!!

Leave a Reply

* Required



© Copyright 2012, Purple Palate, All Rights Reserved  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy Digital Marketing Provided by Margin Media
Purple Palate supports the Responsible Service of Alcohol. New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Victoria: WARNING: Victoria Liquor Control Reform Act 1998: It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $7,000), for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $600). WARNING. Under the Liquor Control Act 1988, it is an offence: to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase, or attempt to purchase, liquor on licensed or regulated premises. South Australia: Liquor Licensing Act 1997, Section 113. Liquor must NOT be supplied to persons under 18. Queensland: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years. ABN 79 089 224 493. Licence No 82612