Last Friday ICS ( International College of Sevilla), the host facilitators of this study abroad adventure organized a field trip to Jerez and Cadiz. From day one they warned us that if we are late of the scheduled departure time that they were gonna leave so with that in mind as hard as it was to open my eyes my butt was in that bus on time.
The city of Jerez was founded by the Greeks under the name Xera and was shipping highly prized wine to distant Rome in clay amphoras two millennia ago. The Muslins introduced distillation for medical purposes and under the 500 yr rule by the Moors the wine industry prospered.
Bodegas in Jerez created the Solera system to produce a distinct style of wine. Jerez de a Frontera is the home and heartland of sherry. It is in fact one of the three towns along with Sanlúcar de barrameda and Puerto Santa Marìa, that make up the famous ‘Sherry Triangle’. Within this triangle, a combination of soil, climate and grape variety come together to create the only authentic sherry in the world.
In Jerez we toured the famous bodega of González Byass. This winery was founded in the 1800’s and today is run by fourth and fifth generation members of the original owner. We also toured the bodegas or caves where they store the vast barrels of sherry. A random thing that I remembered from the tour is that they do not sweep away the cobwebs because they use spiders as a natural form of insect repellant.
Another random fun fact is that they have a special bodega called bodega ratón where they have rats living. They even lay out a small glass of sherry with a ladder and some food for them to eat. I didn’t get close to the Mr. Rat that was there or the food/drink, but I did take pictures of former Mr.Rat’s drinking.
After that fun experience, we were then invited to a wine tasting. Although I haven’t had it before I instantly loved the three wines that I sampled. I had a sample of TIO PEPE, a pale-gold, very shiny dry Fino. This has an aroma reminiscent of its long aging under “flor” yeast with almond notes of dried fruits. Croft Original, pale cream, pallid and shiny. A clean subtle and well –balanced nose, delicately sweet on the palate. Solera, A sweet Oloroso, a very deep mahogany in color. (descriptions of wine provided by brochure)
After Jerez we all went to Cadiz. We had a choice between beach and a tour of the city and the vote was unanimous beach. The water was cold and the sun strong. After three hours I had tanned and burned but it was worth it.
One would think that after a day visiting two towns I would call it a night. Instead after a quick 30 minute power nap and a shower I met up with a couple of girls and went to an Irish Pub in the Center of Seville in the shadows of the Cathedral. There we met an American who decided to move to Spain after a study abroad to teach English. I met a Japanese guy here to learn Spanish and the Flamenco style of guitar playing and also an Italian also here to learn Spanish who was with a couple of locals. After inviting them to our table and chatting for a bit. We all decided to go to a club Elefunk that was close by. Clubbing in Spain is a totally different experience from anything that Connecticut has to offer.
Smoking is allowed so the area is a smoke
filled and the lights bounce and reflect differently through the smoke. The
main and favorite type of music is techno and throughout the night I just had
to stop look and laugh because Spaniards just dance differently. They hear a
different beat to what’s playing. I was thoroughly entertained. I There was
also more socializing in general. During the night, I met a guy from Colombia,
a German and a Sevillano. I would offer a word to the wise by dancing with the
same guy twice , well three times ( he was funny) , I had the same effect as if
I was in America and someone had bought me a drink. So I had a tail on me and
dehydrated Que bararidad !! Throughout the night the group dwindled and Lynair
and I ( the last ones standing) didn’t reach home till around 6.30 am the next day ….all I can say is -
can Party !!!!
1. Me and TIo Pepe 2. Our tour guide. 3. Where they fix the American Oak Drums for the Sherry 4. the First set of Oak Barrels that they still use. 5. Foto del Bodega Raton con un raton bebiendo Sherry 6. The winetasting table 7. Cadiz 8. My italian amigo Luigi and I in Elefunk