Sherry wines – Manzanilla

Manzanilla wine

Sherry wines – Manzanilla

Manzanilla is a white, dry wine produced from the star of Jerez grapes, the palomino, and aged under a layer of yeast known as ‘veil de flor’. It is made exclusively in the bodegas (wineries) in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the Sherry wine region, and under the Denomination of Origin Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda and its Consejo Regulador.

Due to the special climatic conditions of the town, located in the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and at the mouth of the river Guadalquivir, the wine ages in a different way to the rest of the wines in the sherry wine region. The marshes, an extensive stretch of completely flat wetland on the former river delta,  also has an important influence in the final result.

Manzanilla is a pale straw coloured and bright wine. It has a delicate floral bouquet that reminiscent of almonds and bakery. On the palate it is fresh and delicate, smooth and light with a dry end. According to its regulator, Manzanilla´s level of alcohol is between 15% and 17% vol.. It should be served very cold, between 6º and 8º C.

Manzanilla and Fino are ideal wines when having any kind of tapas, specially with those made with seafood. It is also an ideal partner for salted fish and cured meat or prawns, cured salted tuna and anchovies in vinegar. They are also ideal with  famous fried fish of Cádiz, seafood paellas  or any oven-cooked fish cooked in the oven,  with Gazpacho ( a cold tomato soup with a drop of vinegar), roasted peppers from Conil, or any type of salad.

There are actually few differences between Manzanilla and Fino. They both come from the same grape and method of production. However, in Jerez the veil de flor disappears due to the high temperature and its Manzanilla wine become Fino wine. In Sanlúcar de Barrameda the veil de flor remains for the whole year because of the gentler climate caused by the proximity River Guadalquivir. These small but important differences affect their colour and aroma, which is appreciated by the discerning palate.