Hidalgo on Horseback!
Horse races on the beach in Sanlucar de Barrameda have taken place since August 1845, and for the 170th edition this year, Mentzendorff visited with press and clients to see famous Manzanilla producer, and (less famous but nonetheless impressive) jockey, Javier Hidalgo compete.
The races, the oldest in Spain, are held at dusk on the sands that form the bank of the Guadalquivir river. Sadly, victory was not Javier’s on this occasion, despite revealing his pre-race secret is a little Manzanilla in his horse’s oats and a little Amontillado for him, but a glorious visit to Bodegas Hidalgo then followed.
Harvest had just begun in the Hidalgo vineyards just outside Sanlucar, where the Palomino Fino yield is the highest in the world thanks to the calcium carbonate rich albariza soils and extremely stable climate. However, Javier reminded visitors that the ‘terroir’ of Manzanilla is more about what happens in the Bodega than the vineyards, particularly when it comes to the unique maritime ‘flor’ (yeast) of Sanlucar. Wielding his venencia, drawing samples straight from the cask, Senor Hidalgo indulged guests’ love of all sherry styles, reminding of the freshness and vivacity of Manzanilla and Sherry styles from Sanlucar.