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July 13, 2011

And onto Jerez!

We were up early this morning and ready to hit the cobblestone paths on route to Jerez de la Frontera.

I meant to mention, yesterday, we were staying at quite a unique hotel. It's called Enfrente Arte, and is decorated in a mish-mash of styles, mainly dating back to the 50s. Music from the main lobby played well into the night, and there were bright lights from the old-fashioned cars in the main entrance. Quite the difference from when you step out into the street of ancient, Arab Ronda. One major perk: a self-service bar stocked with wine, beer, soft drinks and water for all guests to use.

I should also mention that we were staying in the Tower Room, which isn't a unique name, for a renovated, 3-story Arab tower dating back to the 17th century. The bathroom was on the main floor, a rest area on the 2nd floor, and finally our bedroom on the top floor, with a terrace overlooking the city. It was unlike any other hotel we've stayed at before.

And so, we left Ronda to head to Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez, in Spanish, means "sherry" and this was the purpose of our stop here. It was a nice drive into Jerez and we made our way into the city easily. Getting around the town, now that's another story. If there was a record book for the number of times people can get lost - with a map! - I think we would hold it. Nevertheless, we found our way to two beautiful and big bodegas today: Gonsalez Byass - which produces the famous Tio Pepe sherry - and Williams Hubert.

At Williams Hubert, we had a private tour with Felipe Gomez, which was extensive and pretty cool. At Gonsalez Byass, a much bigger, more organized tour, featuring a look inside their sherry and brandy cellars. Both tours did a good job explaining how the jerez is made. Of course, we had to taste at the end of it all, and ended up buying a bottle, too.

Tonight, a light dinner. Tomorrow we're off to Sevilla.

~ J

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