Sherry Regulations are Undergoing Major Changes

Sherry Regulations are Undergoing Major Changes

© Shutterstock

Sherry Regulations are Undergoing Major Changes

Sherry Regulations are Undergoing Major Changes

© Shutterstock

New grape varieties

The inclusion of new grape varieties has been discussed for years as famous wine regions have been affected by climate change and more customers are interested in new, interesting wines. The regulations now allow the use of six new white pre-phylloxera grape varieties: Beba, Cañocazo, Mantúo Castellano, Mantúo de Pilas, Perruno and Vigiriega, alongside Palomino, Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez. 

The decision will affect local growers, who have been using those varieties for experimental wines, without being allowed in the denomination until now. Small winegrowers can make more money as the region enforces sherry’s diversification

Unfortified sherry wines

Another major change is sherry’s most famous identification: fortification. Sherry must be fortified with a spirit to raise the ABV to at least 15 or 17%. This technique was considered the perfect solution for producing more stable wines that could survive the trip. However, the Consejo Regulador of D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry will now accept wines labelled as Fino and Manzanilla even if they are not fortified.

Although the requirement of the production process, meaning the wine must have a minimum average age of two years before sale, remains unchanged, the acceptance of unfortified sherry wines could significantly increase the number of wines that could use the D.O.'s label. 

The end of the sherry Triangle

Sherry Triangle, an area in the province of Cádiz in southwestern Spain, is an iconic region of three towns: Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria. The maturation of Sherry was restricted to this area until now, but new rules will expand the process throughout the entire production zone, increasing the number of bodegas now able to label their wines with the D.O. stamp.

Falstaff reported on these changes when they were first published in August.

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