“In the south, we need to touch” – this is how the Spanish tradition of Semana Santa was explained to me by Manuel, council representative of Defensión brotherhood, a religious association which for over fifty years has participated in the Holy Week processions of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Commemorating the final days of Christ, the Semana Santa is an assault on your eyes and ears, and a jig-saw puzzle for your head. Continue reading “Sensing Semana Santa: Holy Week in Southern Spain, Jerez de la Frontera”
Sherry is a unique wine, and like anything that is original it will have both its fervent lovers and its disregarding detractors. Its followers find a world of diversity within the sherry spectrum, and the newly initiated will ask of their more acquainted friends a million questions. For both audiences, the connoisseurs and the amateurs, such questions may be answered in a tour around the vineyards of the ‘sherry triangle’, where they will learn that the originality of this wine lies in the originality of the land. Continue reading “Sunset Sherry: An Afternoon Drive through the Vineyards of Jerez”
Every Sunday in Jerez de la Frontera, a constant trickle of families, couples and dogs slowly meander their way on through the shade of the Jacaranda trees covering countless little stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine. This is the Mercadillo El Rastro, Jerez’s Sunday stroll of choice. Continue reading “Shots from Jerez #2: Second Hand Sundays (Photo Story)”
Often said to be a conservative city, Jerez de la Frontera took to the street on mass this weekend to defend a public, quality healthcare system. According to police estimates, around 5,000 people streamed into the central plaza to listen to the movement’s leader, Joaquín Fernández, decry the cuts and negligence which left his wife waiting injured on a footpath for some 45 minutes before being attended to after being hit by a motorcycle.
Shots taken in Jerez de la Frontera over winter 2016.
Tradition is an invaluable body of thought and practise refined, perfected, and revised over generations, inherited by the young from the old. But tradition can be both a blessing and a burden, and habit can limit the imagination. To think freely you need to break out of old rhythms, try new things, experiment. Continue reading “The Au Naturel Pedro Ximénez: Visiting Ximénez-Spínola Vineyards”
Hidden from my sight behind the column of smoke bellowing out from an old fifty-five gallon drum sit the heroes of the night: two big round men with two big round zambombas secured between their two big round thighs. Continue reading “¡Zambomba! Celebrating Christmas in Jerez”
The abandoned Palmera Plaza Grand Hotel is emblematic of Jerez de la Frontera’s period of boom and bust in tourism and construction. Having opened its doors as a five-star, luxury hotel in the heart of the city centre, Palmera Plaza now festers in disrepair; attracting vandals, fire-bugs and the curious to explore its apocalyptic interior. Continue reading “Photo Essay: The Ruins of Jerez – Palmera Plaza Grand Hotel”
Beltrán Domecq and César Saldaña together make up the heart and head of the Sherry world. Who is which is too hard to say – both house a bodega’s worth of knowledge in their heads, a lifetime’s worth of Jerezano lore in their hearts.