Diez Merito Bodega, Jerez, Spain

Although not a well-known brand, there’s a certain cachet given to Diez Mérito. Maybe it’s the royal crest hanging over the door, representing their royal connections stretching back to 1892.

Price: €9
Duration: under 60 minutes
Hours: 11am-1:30pm and by appointment
Address: Calle Diego Fernández Herrera 4, Jerez, Spain
More info: Diez Merito website

The winery is reasonably large and very pleasant: the doors open right into a barrel room and you’re immediately part of the production process. And it seems there really are barrels everywhere: a short walk takes you to a lovely courtyard filled with citrus trees… and surrounded by barrels in which brandy is stored. And then it’s back into the ground-floor cellars where you start to understand the different processes that create each distinctive sherry style.

In addition to the modern workings of the winery, there’s historical elements scattered around: old scales, agricultural implements, and early advertising posters; displays from the World Exhibition of Paris in 1900 where they walked away with a few prizes.

The tasting was well organised, with a full flight of wines and brandies, and accompanied by a good description of each wine that tied back into the earlier discussion of wine production.

The location near the train station makes this a great option for short visits into Jerez from Cadíz or Seville, and other tour options and activities are available, including a cooking-with-sherry class taking you from the winery to local markets to a restaurant; and a vineyard to winery option where you can see all aspects of grape growing and wine-making.

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