PLAN­NING A TOUR

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - WINE -

The three prin­ci­pal towns of the Sherry Tri­an­gle – Jerez de la Fron­tera, San­lu­car de Bar­rameda and El Puerto de Santa María – are hid­den gems with some of the best beaches and ar­chi­tec­ture in Europe. Tour­ing the tri­an­gle gives you a chance to com­bine the best of Spain – the sea, sun, fla­menco and of course sherry – in a way that will de­light all five senses. And if wine tast­ing isn’t your travel com­pan­ion’s cup of sherry, there is the pos­si­bil­ity of com­bin­ing the sherry tour with some­thing that does ap­peal. Check out the web­site ru­tadel­jerezy­brandy.es (Sherry Tri­an­gle and Brandy Route), which can help you plan your tour with in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing days out, lan­guage lessons, and ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­abil­ity and pric­ing.

Sherry and art: In Jerez is Bodega Tradi­cion (bode­gastradi­cion.es), whose rare, sin­gle-bar­rel aged sher­ries sit be­neath a well-pre­sented col­lec­tion of more than 60 pieces of Span­ish art. Works in­clude pieces by Goya, Ve­lazquez, Julio Romero de Tor­res, El Greco, Fran­cisco de Zur­baran and Pablo Pi­casso’s series of etch­ings known as the “Suite Vol­lard”. Wine tast­ing tours are avail­able ev­ery day in var­i­ous lan­guages, though the art gallery is not open on Sun­days. Tours cost from €30 (US$35) per per­son.

Sherry and horses: Bodega San­de­man (san­de­man.com) pro­vides an ideal op­por­tu­nity for sherry tast­ing in the morn­ing, fol­lowed by an af­ter­noon get­ting to know the world-renowned horses of An­dalu­sia. The bodega’s prox­im­ity to a nearby eques­trian school pro­duces a sur­pris­ingly pleas­ant com­bi­na­tion of horse and wine odours. Tours start at €8 (US$9.4) per per­son for three sher­ries.

Bode­gas Real Te­soro and Valde­spino (grupoestevez.es) have a stun­ning col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary and modern art, a mu­seum of horse car­riages, and a stud farm of rare, blue-black Span­ish stal­lions. Tours start at €10 (US$11.7) per per­son.

You can stroll over to the Royal An­dalu­sian School of Eques­trian Art, with daily per­for­mances of danc­ing stal­lions, or the Re­creo de las Cade­nas Palace, where you can visit the Horse and Car­riage Mu­seum, the gar­dens and palaces, train­ing ar­eas, rid­ing arena and sta­bles. Shows with danc­ing horses (in­clud­ing a mu­seum tour) start at €25 (US$29) per per­son. You can also book rid­ing lessons. Reser­va­tions on­line via reales­cuela.org

Per­son­alised tours: For the ul­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence, have a tour of the area de­signed specif­i­cally for your needs. Cadiz Guia is a spe­cial­ist tour com­pany that puts to­gether be­spoke sherry trips with your own per­sonal guide. He/ she will be on hand to an­swer all your ques­tions, ar­range travel, and give tips on tast­ing and buy­ing sherry. Hav­ing a lo­cal per­son show you around pro­vides real in­sight into the area, with in­sider knowl­edge of the best bars to visit and the best prices to pay at the mar­kets. Cadiz Guia of­fers a tour for two peo­ple, vis­it­ing three bode­gas and in­clud­ing trans­port, from €250 (US$293); cadizguia.com

Where to stay: Take your bodega visit to the next level by stay­ing at the Ho­tel Pala­cio Gar­vey, a 19th-cen­tury neo­clas­si­cal man­sion house and the for­mer home of sherry barons the Gar­vey fam­ily, which has been con­verted into a 16-bed­room lux­ury ho­tel. There is an old bodega con­nected with the ho­tel that you can ex­plore. The ho­tel is in the cen­tre of the old part of Jerez and pro­vides a per­fect re­treat af­ter a morn­ing ex­plor­ing the area. Sherry is served on ar­rival, and the chef in the ho­tel’s restau­rant, La Con­desa, serves dishes paired with lo­cal sher­ries. hotel­pala­ciog­a­r­vey.com-cadiz.com

Get­ting there: Daily flights are avail­able from Madrid to Jerez, or you can travel by train to en­joy the coun­try­side en route. Trains run hourly with re­turn tick­ets from €79 (US$92). The jour­ney takes three hours and can be booked on­line at renfe.com

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