González Byass has brought the traditional production of Pedro Ximénez back to the Sherry region, using age-old methods to produce sweet wine
Pedro Ximénez or PX, one of the three white grapes used in the production of Sherry has long been primarily sourced in nearby Montilla, but González Byass, one of the great historical producers from Jerez. Spain has brought the traditional production techniques of this variety back to its heartland. In the famous Sherry grape-growing district of Carrascal, 75 acres were planted with Pedro Ximénez in 2006 and 2007. More recently, González Byass finished restoring and reviving their Viña La Canariera winery in Jerez, where sweet wines were made until 1986, for the vinification of this year’s PX harvest.
Finally this year after several years of trials, 220 tons of grapes were hand-picked and then laid out to dry in the vineyards on grass esparto mats for 10-12 days to develop concentrations of sugar at 25-27 degrees Baumé, a process called ‘soleo’. The bunches of grapes are turned over regularly and covered at night to avoid dew. This process cannot be mechanized and requires a large team of people to conduct this very labor-intensive harvesting method.
The 2020 PX harvest began on August 24 and is set to be completed this week. The resulting wines are destined for the González Byass PX soleras where they age for many years before being released as Néctar and Noé V.O.R.S. PX is also used to produce Cristina Medium Sherry, Solera 1847 Cream Sherry, Apostoles Palo Cortado V.O.R.S. and Matusalem Cream V.O.R.S.
González Byass USA’s CEO and Country Manager, Nicolás Bertino commented “the significant investment in new plantings of PX, the restoration of the Viña La Canariera winery for the vinification of sweet Sherry, and the employment of a large labor force required to undertake the ‘soleo’ underlines GB’s belief in a bright future for Sherry and continued sales growth of all Sherry styles post-pandemic.”
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About González Byass USA
González Byass USA is a Chicago based importer for a strategically selected portfolio of fine wine and spirit brands from around the world including Spain, Chile, Italy and Austria.
González Byass USA is the US subsidiary of González Byass headquartered in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. González Byass is a family-owned, collection of wineries founded in 1835 which spans across Spain’s most important wine producing regions. From its foundation, the González family have been dedicated to making fine Sherries and brandies in Jerez, Spain, creating such well-known brands as Tío Pepe Fino Sherry and Lepanto Brandy de Jerez.
Today the fifth generation of the family are the custodians of these exceptional brands having built the company into a family of wineries which produces wine in some of Spain’s most famous regions; Bodegas Beronia (Rioja and Rueda), Dominio Fournier (Ribera del Duero), Cavas Vilarnau (Barcelona), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero (Somontano) and Pazos de Lusco (Rías Baixas). In each of these regions the family strives to make the best possible quality wines respecting the local terroir and the environment. At the same time the company has also expanded its interests further in the premium spirits business and has created pioneering brands such as The London No.1 and Nomad Outland Whisky to complement the Spanish brandies in the portfolio Soberano and Lepanto, as well as their Mexican brandies from Pedro Domecq: Presidente and Don Pedro.
González Byass USA also represents several international wineries in the US market including from Austria Domäne Wachau, and from Italy Pranza, Caldora, Cantine Cellaro, Vesevo, Vigneti Del Salento and Tenute Rossetti. In addition, Harveys Bristol Cream and Fundador Brandy de Jerez from Spain.