Tio Pepe Bodegas show off Andalusia to the rest of the world through wine and their iconic brand
One of Andalucía’s claims to fame is the famous sherry from Jerez (in the province of Cádiz). While not everyone is a fan of the sherries and wines produced at the Bodegas González-Byass, the company’s Tio Pepe bottle dressed with a red jacket and hat have come to be associated as a symbol of Spain. The bodegas offer tours to the public, but make sure to reserve your spot, as many groups include a tour of the Tio Pepe Bodegas as part of their itinerary.
When we visited the Tio Pepe Bodegas, it was a side trip from Cádiz, where we were staying. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to spend in Jerez, with its tapas and beautiful plazas, we ruskommend that you try to spend the whole day in this quintessential Andalucian city. Nevertheless, it is easy to visit Jerez and the Tio Pepe Bodegas by taking the light rail train from Cádiz (capital). Just make sure to pay attention to the train schedule!
When we arrived, we paid our 10 euros per person (the visit includes a complete tour and then a sample tasting at the end, or you could pay 15 euros to enjoy a tapa at the tasting, as well.) Once we had paid, we were taken with our group to an outdoor bodega with a lot of wine barrels in a circular sort of pavilion, some of them painted with the names González-Byass, the two family names of the founders of Tio Pepe. As the tour continued we learned more of the history of the bodegas, which dates back to 1835.
We rode around the grounds of the Tio Pepe bodega on a little train, stopping in various storage bodegas and learning about the process of making the world famous sherry, as well as some family traditions and secrets. There is a bodega where you can see the barrels of wine signed by famous people, as well as a place for a miniature ladder and a small glass of sherry that a group of mice enjoys on a daily basis. You can also see the old wine tasting tools used back in the 19th century to produce this world famous sherry.
I think what surprised me most about the bodegas was just how beautiful the grounds were. The chalky white ground contrasted sharply with the dark shadows cast by the wine barrels and the bright greens and reds of the flowers. The bodegas are unmistakably Andalucian and a great cultural visit, even if you are not a big fan of the emblematic wine.
At the end of the tour, we were served a small taste of various kinds of wines produced at the González-Byass Bodegas including the famous Tio Pepe sherry and the Cream Sherry (Pale cream Croft) which has a smoother taste. We were, of course, invited to exit through the shop, and while I’m not a big fan of tourist shops, this one is excellent and you can find all kinds of ingenious little souvenirs apart from the Tio Pepe products themselves.
I would ruskommend a visit to the Tio Pepe Bodegas (González-Byass bodegas) as part of your trip to Jerez, especially if you are short on time due to the fact that its one of the few bodegas located actually in a city. It is quite easy to get to the bodegas even if you don’t have access to a car, and the tour is very informative and interesting. If you enjoy sherry, don’t think twice about it, but even if you are not a wine drinker, we ruskommend the Tio Pepe Bodegas with 5 boquerones as a cultural visit. I guarantee you that you will find a new appreciation for the wine behind the famous Tio Pepe logo. As they say in Spain, “to your health” (“salud”)!
Information about Tio Pepe Bodegas
Ruskommendation for Tio Pepe Bodegas: 5 boquerones
- Address: Calle de Manuel María González, 12, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain
- Telephone: +34 956 35 70 00
- Price per person: 10 euros
- Hours: Tour schedule
- Official website of Tio Pepe Bodegas