Bodega Hidalgo La Gitana, on the edge of the old town facing the sea, is one of the oldest Sanlúcar bodegas, founded in 1792, and is still wholly owned by the descendants of the founder, Don José Pantaleón Hidalgo. The name of its flagship Manzanilla, “The Gypsy woman”, is said to refer to his mistress, who worked as a barmaid in Málaga.
We were fortunate enough to be shown around the bodega by Juan Hidalgo, a 6th generation member of the family, who proved an entertaining host and an adept venenciador. Less of a tour than our other visits, we ambled through the various sections of the bodega, sampling wines straight from the barrels as we went, while Juan told us about family history and the different sherries produced.
Other highlights of the visit included seeing the bodega’s very own storks’ nest, and perhaps most unusually of all, getting to see the original portrait of “La Gitana”, which was actually painted on a tambourine skin and now hangs in the bodega’s office. I’ll never look at a bottle of La Gitana manzanilla again without remembering that moment.
Visits Monday-Saturday 11am (English & Spanish) 12.30pm (Spanish only). Price 5 euros
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana
Calle de la Banda de la Playa, 42
Tel 956 385 304