Tío Pepe sherry makers turn hands to organic grapes
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, Aug 24 (EFE).- The producers of renowned sombrero-wearing sherry brand Tío Pepe have set their eyes on bottling an organic batch of fortified wine, the first vintage for which began Tuesday.
The harvest of the Palomino grape used for Jerez sherry, which is protected by a designation of origin, may already be underway but it will be years until the final product is ready.
González Byass, the sherry bodega that produces Tío Pepe, selected a 12.2 hectare vineyard for its first ecological must — a base material for wine making.
The plot lends itself to organic viticulture due to its prime location on a hill, surrounded by other vineyards, which act like a natural protective ring against diseases.
Harvesters this week will pick an estimated 80,000 kilos of grapes, which will produce 60,000 kilos of ecological must.
“It will be three of four years until we see the final product,” the head of cultivation at González Byass, Manuel Delgado Casas, told Efe .
A recent heatwave across Spain — which was particularly acute in the south, where Jerez de la Frontera is located — has sped up the ripening process and the sugar content of the grapes has already reached 13.5 degrees on the Baumé scale, 1.5 degree above the average for this time of year, he added. EFE