Jun 26 2024

It’s Manzanilla Day! Meet this Special and Versatile Wine that Comes from the Southern Spain

Manzanilla is a unique dry white wine produced in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Andalusia from Palomino Fino grapes, and it’s a perfect drink to pair with cheese and jamón Ibérico

June 26t, is a very special day for one fortified wine in particular: Manzanilla, as it’s officially Manzanilla from Sanlúcar Day.

This wine is considered to be a gem of southern Spain, and it’s produced exclusively in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a city in Cádiz, Andalusia. The weather there creates the perfect environment for producing it. The temperatures are mild and there’s notable humidity, and this environment allows the wine to develop its unique qualities. It is under the protection of Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda DO.

Manzanilla is made from Palomino Fino grapes, which reach the perfect ripeness due to the area’s climate and the albariza soil, that is the most relevant factor for understanding what makes this wine unique. In this area, all the rain falls between the months of October and April. As albariza is a white and porous soil, low in nutrients and high in limestone content, is very absorbent, which allows to store a large amount of water to help the vines withstand the heat of the summer.

Manzanilla is made using the Solera-Criaderas system, an aging method that is traditional in the region which involves blending wines of different ages. It is aged under a layer of yeasts know as velo de flor

The result is a very bright, pale straw coloured wine. It has a sharp and delicate bouquet with predominant floral aromas reminiscent of chamomile, almonds and dough. It is dry, fresh, lightly saline and delicate on the palate. It has a light acidity that produces a pleasant sensation of freshness and a lingering, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Great for the Summer and  a master in pairing

Although it can be enjoyed all year round, is a perfect wine for the Summer. It should be served very chilled, using an ice bucket with both ice and water to keep temperature between 6 & 8º C (42-46 ºF).

Manzanilla is a versatile wine, and its saline, fresh notes pair perfectly with a wide range of dishes. It’s delicious alongside all kinds of cheeses, like Tetilla and Mahón, as well as Burgos and Payoyo cheese. It’s equally delicious with salty foods like jamón Ibérico as well as prawns, paella, and Galician-style octopus. As for international foods, Manzanilla is an excellent option to accompany dishes like ceviche and dim sum.