Sunday, August 2, 2015

Jerez Day Trip

It's an easy drive from Seville to Jerez, just over an hour on the highway. We picked up a rental car not far from our hotel and arrived in the city just around lunch time. Our main activity was to tour the Lustau winery, as Jerez is famous for sherry there are many producer tours to choose from, Lustau was recommended and also had English tours at convenient times.

The town was extremely quiet when we arrived, most people were taking siesta. It was also crazy hot. We parked by the distillery and sat down at the first place we saw that was open and serving food.

You know those times when you stumble upon something so delicious at someplace so unexpected? Our bocadillos from this random bar were some of the tastiest we had in all of Spain! It was like finding gourmet food at a gas station (like in Hawaii!).

We headed over for our reserved tour time and joined a very small group of English speakers. Our tour guide led us through the open-air barrel rooms with dirt floors and explained the solera and criaderas systems. She even showed us a barrel that had a clear plexiglass window where we could see the dead yeast, or flor as it is called, resting on the bottom.

The winery is quite beautiful and the tour was very interesting, much different than the regular wineries I have been to. At the end of the tour we tasted through the Lustau lineup and learned a bit more of the different styles of sherry.
After our tour we headed to the center of town and had some not very good gazpacho from one of the restaurants in the main square. With temperatures near 100F we needed some shade and a beverage! Then we walked over to the Alcazar and caught the last camera obscura entrance of the day.

I had never seen a camera obscura before and it was really, really impressive. We climbed up into the tower and into a small room. The door was shut and we were in complete darkness. Then the guide opened a small hole in the ceiling and a mirror reflected the outside activity onto a large disc in the center of the room. As the guide rotated the mirror we got to view the entire town without taking a step! We could see birds flying, people walking, cars driving, it was all really interesting!

We spent some time walking around the Alcazar after, it is minuscule compared to the one in Seville. The building and the grounds are gorgeous though and you can see the ruins, ancient baths, and old olive grinding stones. If you are in Seville I highly recommend a day trip to Jerez, and if you are in Jerez I'd say the camera obscura is a do-not-miss.

Jerez photos here.

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