El Maestro Sierra was founded in 1830 by José Antonio Sierra, a master cooper of barrels who wanted to produce great sherry. He became an almacenista (stock-holder) of premium sherry and the bodega has remained a family-run business to this day.
El Maestro Sierra is the first and one of the few bodegas run entirely by women. After the passing of her husband, Antonio Borrego, in 1976, Doña Pilar Pla Pechovierto took over the winery and resisted pressure to sell. In 1997, Doña Pilar was able to obtain a permit to for the winery to bottle its own wines, a first for an almacenista bodega. Doña Pilar was a pioneer who preserved the grand estate of El Maestro Sierra and brought it to new heights. Today, the tradition is continued by Pilar’s daughter, Dr. Carmen Borrego Pla, and capataza (cellar master and master blender) Ana Cabestrero.
The bodega benefits from its advantageous location in El Puerto de Santa María where the botas are exposed to the cool Poniente winds, enabling the flor to thrive year-round. Wines are sourced from the pagos of Balbaína, Miraflores and Trebujena. As an almacenista, the soleras at the winery are very well seasoned (60 to 100 years old).
All bodega work is done manually. Sherries are minimally filtered and bottled en rama. Cooperage and barrel work still done on premises. The rare and extremely limited VORS sherries are some of the most sought after and treasured wines in all of Jerez.