After years without a sherry festival, New York sherry lovers were treated to the first ever Feria En Rama at the historic Chelsea Hotel. The man behind the idea is sherry troubadour Nick Africano, a sherry educator who has been all about sherry for the last fifteen years.
Among the invited sherry experts and bodegas, the highlight of the tasting was a panel of next-gen sherry winemakers called Territorio Albariza, a free association of small producers and winegrowers, focused on the development and promotion of top-quality wines from the Marco de Jerez. They collaborate and share information about the origins, history of each vineyard, and terruño, as well as recuperation of grapes and expansion of the sherry triangle. They feel a responsibility to recover the history of the region.
The members include Ramiro Ibáñez (Cota 45), Willy Pérez (Bodegas Luis Pérez), the Blanco brothers (Pepe & Paco) (Callejuela), Alejandro Narváez (Forlong), Alejandro Muchada (Muchada-Léclapart), Joaquín Gómez (Meridiano Perdido) and Primitivo Collantes (Collantes). Members spoke about their unique projects, vinos de pasto (unfortified wines), their amistad, and the future of Jerez.
Here are some takeaways:
Sherry is wine.
Sherry has many points of views.
Albariza soil is 10 million years old and a perfect translation of the flavor of Andalusia – salinity.
The Solera is a physical link to every vintage that came before.
The aging process amplifies terruño.
Vino de Pasto is a connection to the fortified wines of Jerez.
The history of each vineyard, especially the Pagos is to be included in the story of the wines.
Despaña NYC represented by providing a great spread of empanadas, cocas, croquetas, gildas and other savory bites.
The atmosphere was electric, as the room was fueled by the aromas of sherry and the energy of all the winemakers, sherry professionals and enthusiasts.
We’ll be having our own sherry throwdown this week at the shop. Pop in for free tastings.