ALP Class 17 Blog

Day 7 International Trip – March 3rd

We were able to avoid the rain in the morning as we started the day off at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Sevilla. To start, there were many paintings about the Church, Bible, and Saints. As we continued through the galleries there were many ancient paintings of Sevilla from the 15th and 16th century. Many of these paintings showed festivals or parades during this time period and some of the buildings in the pictures still stand today and we have had the opportunity to see them on the trip. Last, we visited the gallery commemorating Murillo, a famous Spanish artist. The gallery opened recently and will remain available for a 10-year span.

After the art museum, we made the one hour and fifteen-minute trip south to Jerez. We stopped by Jerez, a town of 25,000, for lunch and to observe a local market. The market is only open on Saturdays from 8:30-2:00 had has a wide variety of items available. The majority of the market goods were food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, seafood, and herbs. However, there was a section of the market that had clothing items as well as leather bags, shoes, and flowers. The town of Jerez had a wide selection of small cafes and restaurants to choose from for lunch. One item that stood out to all of us was the aggressive tactics used by store clerks and restaurant employees to draw in business.

To finish off the day we visited Jose Estevez wine and spirits. The winery was established in 1809 where they aged Sherry and Brandy and was originally known as Jose Lena Rendon and Co. They grow one type of grape on the farm and that is the palomino grape. From this they make 4 different types of Sherry, two that are dry and two that are sweet. The Sherry is kept in 25-28 degree Celsius during the aging process and 70-80% humidity. During this process, the Sherry is aged in 600-liter American Oak barrels and all of the barrels are older. They never age the Sherry in new barrels as it changes the flavor of what is desired. Some of the Sherry is aged for 20-30 years. We were able to visit two of the winery aging buildings. One of them was the largest on the farm which contained 26,000 barrels.

In addition to the winery, the farm also specializes in breeding Pure Bred black Spanish horses. These horses average a price tag of 200,000 euro. The horses are for hoppy and used for pulling 18th and 19th century carriages at different shows around Spain. In addition to the horses we had the opportunity to view the farms art gallery. To say the gallery was impressive is an understatement as the main attraction was 100 Picasso paintings there were bought at an auction. It was unknown what was paid for the impressive display.

Once the tour was complete we all met in their reception hall for a wine tasting of three of their Sherry products. Their products sell for 15-300 euro per bottle with an overall average of 80 euro.

After the tasting we boarded the bus and headed back to Seville for an evening to enjoy the city. Some members went to dinner and walked around town, while others attended Saturday evening mass or a flamenco show.