October 18, 2017  
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Jerez

When you talk about Jerez then then three words come to mind - Horses, Sherry, Flamenco. Local festivals honour the horse, the sweet smell of sherry floats through the tree lined avenues and around just about every corner you will find a Tablao Cafe performing the traditional Andalusian dance of Flamenco.

Jerez City has a delightful old town with wide avenues lined with palm trees, cafes and small squares many of the buildings date back to the 15th Century and of particular note is the Cathedral del Salvador and the old Moorish fortress the Alcazar.

The sherry bodegas, or cellars, are conveniently found in the centre of Jerez and production is dominated by the three big players Gonzalez Bypass, Pedro Domecq and Sandeman. The landscape, weather and chalky Albariza soil are ideally suited for vine growth. Sherry varieties include the dry Fino, the Amontillado a dry aromatic amber coloured sherry, the strong Olorso with its bitter after taste and the sweet Pedro Ximenez.

Set in the glorious surrounding of the 19th Century Cadenas Palace built by Charles Garnier, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art performs a spectacular equestrian ballet accompanied to traditional Spanish music with the riders dressed in 18th Century style costume, an outstanding display of horsemanship as riders in harmony with the horses trot, step and gallop in time with the music.

The origins of Flamenco is shrouded in mystery no one knows exactly how the art was developed but it’s universally agreed that it was popularised in Jerez, a passionate expression of emotions that tells the story of love, hate and treachery in musical and dance form. The Flamenco Festival of Jerez 24th February to 10th March is the culmination of this great art and considered by many to be the most important Flamenco date in the calendar with many internationally renowned artists performing.


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