The history of this little bodega began in 1992, when Juan Piñero acquired a disused 100 year old bodega in the lower town of Sanlúcar, in an area long famed for its manzanilla. After repairs to the central patio and part of the naves, and the purchase of some 1800 used casks and 400 casks of manzanilla solero production started on a range of sherries – manzanilla (Jarona), amontillado, palo cortado, cream, muscatel and pedro ximenez. In 2000 he purchased a small bodega from the now defunct Pedro Domecq, together with the soleras and brand name Maruja, which is now the company’s premium manzanilla pasada. A second bodega in Jerez was added in 2007, allowing the production of fino and oloroso sherries to complete the range.
This is a fairly small bodega, in the typical style, with high roofs and windows facing east and west to take advantage of the winds, and of course, that special bodega atmosphere that comes from the ranks of barrels stretching away into dimness, slightly muffled sound, coolness, and the yeasty smell of the sherry.
During our visit we were shown around by capataz (cellar master) Joaquín, who treated us to a vertical tasting of the bodega’s premium Manzanilla Pasada, Maruja, which is aged for 8-10 years in a system of seven criaderas and a solera. This allows you to trace the development of the sherry from a very young wine to its final maturity, giving an insight into the sherry maker’s art.
Thanks so much to Juan and the people at the bodega who took the time to show us around. There are no regular tours at this bodega but their wine shop is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 14.00.
In Sevilla you can find the full range of Juan Piñero’s wines at Delatierra Wines
Garcia Vinuesa 35
Tel +34 954 21 24 34
Bodegas Juan Piñero
Tel. +34 956 360 465