1. Bodega: The name of the vineyard. In this case, the vineyard is Martínez Bujanda
2. Region: The location where the grapes have been grown. This label
shows that the grapes where grown in the Rioja region, the largest and
best known area for grape growing in Spain.
3. Varietal: The type of grape used to make the wine. Here, Garnacha
grapes where used. Other popular varietals in Spain include,
Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, Viura, Malavasia, Xarello, and
Parellada. See the section below for more information about varietals.
4. Vintage: The year the wine was made. The wine in this bottle dates back to 1990.
The following sherries are dry. This is due to the fact that their
musts or grape juices have been through a complete fermentation
• Fino: This is a clear, straw-colored sherry that is dry,
light and fragrant. It is aged with yeasts called flor. It contains 15
to 18% alcohol.
• Amontillado: It has an amber color and it a light and smooth sherry with a certain hazelnut bouquet. It contains 16 to 22% alcohol.
• Oloroso: The color of Oloroso sherry can range from
amber to dark mahogany color. As the name indicates, this sherry is
“fragrant.” It contains 17 to 22% alcohol.
• Raya: This is part of the Oloroso group, but it is less delicate and does not have as much aroma.
• Palo Cortado: This mahogany-colored sherry falls
between Amontillado and Oloroso. It is dry and has a hazelnut bouquet.
It contains 17 to 22% alcohol.
Sweet Natural Sherries
These types of sherries are primarily made from two varieties of
grapes – Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. After harvest, they are put
through a process called soleo or “over-maturing” that results in a
high concentration of sugar in the grape. This makes a very sweet,
dense must. Once it is made into wine, it is aged through oxidation and
put in the soleras. Solera is the name for both the special process
that this sherry goes through as well as the barrels. In the solera
process, sherry is put into a series of barrels for aging. A portion of
sherry from the last barrel is poured out and the barrel is then filled
with sherry from the next-to-last barrel, until the first barrel is
filled with new sherry.
• Pedro Ximenez: This sweet sherry is made from grapes of
the same name. It is very dark and aromatic, having a bouquet of
raisins. It has a high alcohol content.
• Moscatel: Muscat is the English name for this sweet
raisin wine from the moscatel variety of grapes. It is produced in the
province of Málaga and is warm and sweet, and has a dark color.
• Blended Sherries: Dry varieties of sherry are blended with sweet ones to make somewhat sweet sherries.
• Pale Cream and Cream: Both are sweet wines. The Pale
Cream variety is light-colored and only slightly sweet, where the Cream
sherry is sweet, dark and has a very intense aroma. Cream sherry is
actually made from the Oloroso variety of sherry. These are good
dessert wines and contain between 15.5 and 22% alcohol.
• Manzanilla: This type of sherry is produced only in
the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda where the bodegas actually
have a special microclimate. This wine has its own Denomination of
Origin and can only be produced in the town. It is very pale and dry
and contains 15 to 17% alcohol.