Jerez vinegar is produced in the same area and in a similar manner as the wines, using the criaderas y solera system. The vinegar is stored in wooden barrels, known as ‘criaderas’, that are neatly stacked in layers. It is then aged and decanted from the highest barrels the lowest (solera) and then bottled for distribution and sale.This results in a vinegar that is distinct from all others in the world. The soil in the vineyards of the zone, which is a mix of limestone, marine sediment (plankton fossils and skeletons) and clay; the climate with 300 sunny days and the steady sea breeze from the Atlantic, which brings high humidity, all contribute to the superior quality of Jerez wines. Wines which are delicate, full of flavour and continuing to gain popularity the world over.
Jerez Vinegar has it’s own trademark or ‘Denominación de Origen “Vinagre de Jerez”’. The regulatory board works to protect and endorse the superior quality of the Vinegar as well as projecting it’s image throughout the world.
There are five distinct types of Jerez Vinegar that are covered by the trademark “Vinagre de Jerez”.
- Vinagre de Jerez – Jerez Vinegar. Aged wooden barrels for between six months and two years
- Vinagre de Jerez Reserva – Reserve. Aged for between two and ten years
- Vinagre de Jerez Gran Reserva – Special Reserve. Aged for over ten years.
- Vinagre de Jerez al Pedro Ximénez. Produced from Pedro Ximénez grapes and aged for at least six months
- Vinagre de Jerez al Moscatel. Produced from Moscatel grapes and aged for at least six months.
Jerez Vinegars are well known for their intense mahogany colour, their aromas with notes of young wine and wood; and their flavour with touches of nuts and spices. The Moscatel and particularly Pedro Ximénez, are from different grapes and therefore darker and sweeter.
Jerez Vinegars give a special and exquisite touch to cold soups such as gazpacho or salmorejo. They are also great with cold foods such as pasta salad, smoked dishes, green salads and fruit. A wonderful flavour enhancer, Jerez Vinegar is a vital ingredient for that ‘special touch’ in braised meat of any type. It is the base of many of the marinades and pickles that go so well with fish and shellfish. Well known mayonnaise-based sauces such as tartar and rosemary, include Jerez Vinegar. Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel vinegars are highly recommended for that special touch in desserts that are based on cheese, ice cream, chocolate, fruit or citric fruit.