If, in your top 10 Spanish loves of Spain you can name horses, flamenco and sherry then The Jerez Sherry Festival is the one for you. Beginning on the Friday with a procession of decorated horse carts carrying the Queen of the Vintage and her courtiers the fun continues to the most important ceremony of the Blessing of the Grapes which takes place on the Sunday.
Jerez lies at the very center of Andalucia’s gypsy culture and is one of Spain’s three sherry producing towns the wine harvest is celebrated on the closest weekend to the 8th September with the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady which is the official start of the vintage in Jerez.
The priest gives his blessing with the back drop of the full choir as the ‘Queen of the Vintage’ casts her basket of grapes into a rectangle wooden wine press called a lagar.
Suitably booted workmen then tread the grapes beginning the first pressing of the vintage to the celebratory sound of the church bells. The famous wine region honors it’s first pressing with pageantry and a fitting sense of occasion.
While Jerez is famous for its sherry, and why not sample the best of the best while you’re in the region, travelling through Jerez also begs a day of your time at http://www.realescuela.org/ing/home.htm where you have the opportunity to see the beautiful and world famous horses of the Jerez Fair. Considered to be the best of all horses for the arena, due to their agility, resourcefulness and natural rhythm they are not to be missed.
The Feria de Caballos offers an array of flamenco, gastronómica, casetas brimming with tapas and of course the unforgettably rich tones of live guitar music.