I almost can’t believe that it took so long to visit Bodegas González Byass because I’ve known Antonio Flores (master wine blender) and José Argudo (brand manager) for ages, and have been to many of their tastings and events both in Sevilla and Jerez. They have always told me I was welcome to visit the bodega anytime, and that time finally came. It was the first tour we did, almost as soon as we arrived in Jerez. And it was quite a show. You are immediately impressed by the size and importance of the place. But it’s not just show as the wines are excellent and – I can’t help it – I adore the iconic Tío Pepe logo.
The bodega was founded in 1835 by Manuel María González and its most famous brand, Tio Pepe, was named after his uncle José. It’s the biggest of the Jerez bodegas, and also has the most open spaces around the buildings, almost like a small town, and we hopped on and off a small train to visit the various points of interest. Although the bodega buildings are generally traditional, the oldest, Real Bodega La Concha is a round structure designed by Eiffel (he of the tower). Also worth seeing are the old brandy stills, and the casks signed by celebrity visitors.
Daily tours are given in Spanish, English, French and German. On our tour we got to taste Tío Pepe (bone dry fino) and Croft Original (sweet cream blend). There are other options if you want to either taste more wines and/or have them with tapas. I think it’s a very interesting tour and the short film you get to watch part-way through helps to give you a feel of the family history and the long tradition of this world-renowned bodega.
Bodegas Tío Pepe
Calle de Manuel María González, 12
Tel 956 35 70 00