Jerez MW trip
Anticipation was high at the start of the IMW’s recent trip to Jerez. Not only was the region high on the priority list of many MWs, this was also the first official trip organised by the Institute after nearly three years of Covid-curtailed travel. I have to admit that, as the trip’s organiser, I was somewhat apprehensive. My concerns started with the name badges. Would I forget to pack them? Having packed them, would I only remember to hand them at lunchtime out on the first day? Maybe I’d let everyone go home wearing their name badges, having omitted to collect them at the end of the trip. This was just the start of my long shortlist of worries. My key concern, though, was about whether or not the trip would run smoothly, and whether, by the end of the trip, my fellow MWs would feel that what they saw, heard and tasted over the course of our three days in Southern Spain was both interesting and relevant.
I needn’t have worried. Cesar Saldana and his team at the Consejo (notably the wonderful Inmaculada and marketing guru, Carmen, who patiently shepherded us through our visits on the second day) had done a cracking job in organising our programme. Each visit was themed, with several winemakers contributing to both discussions and tastings. We packed a huge amount in during those three short days, gaining a deeper appreciation of classical winemaking in the region and of the suite of changes and innovations that are already beginning to have an impact on the quality, range and style of wines produced in Jerez. The sheer amount of information that was shared with us seemed well designed to challenge our prejudices and deepen our appreciation of these characterful wines. The incredible generosity and hospitality of the Jerezanos will, no doubt, remain an enduring memory for all participants. And I’m pretty confident that all the MWs on the trip will remember it as being a fabulous way to resume the IMW’s trips programme.