When I moved from Sanlúcar to Jerez, I made sure that I had an air-conditioned room. Result, bliss!
August is the end of the season for the sherry makers, the harvest is in and it is just too hot to work. Jane C. Ward was kind enough to invite me to their end-of-year party at Lustau. After swirling the amber nectar round the glass, the professionals always throw a little onto the floor. I never discovered the origin nor reason for this habit. I think it might be superstitious, like, for example, throwing salt over the shoulder.
Historically, there is quite a lot of British influence in the sherry houses. Sr Beltrán Domecq Williams González gave me a tasting of the entire Domecq range. Sadly, Domecq has been taken over but Sr Domecq is now President of the Consejo Regulador of Jerez. Domecq and González Byass also took me to their vineyards, where I made a couple of pastel sketches.
Before I made this visit to Spain, I was not a fan of sherry. When I returned, I definitely was! If you are prepared not to follow fashion and choose carefully, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the variety and the quality of this undervalued wine.
My trip to the sherry region was a commission from The Wine Society, whose current list contains examples from each of these producers – Domecq is now listed as Osborne.
I have included some prints of other parts of Spain:
A triptych of Arcos, a hill town. This is a two-colour varied edition (sometimes called a monoprint) where each print is unique.
The Aficionado (a portrait of a guest at Lustau’s party) is a soft-ground etching in a two-colour edition.
Fixing the Cask is a portrait of a tonelero working in one of Lustau’s bodegas
My preliminary drawings for these prints of the Jerez bodegas were exhibited in The Derwent Art Prize 2016
In these two landscape pastels below, the stark white of the soil contrasts with the green of the vines.
©Henry Hagger 2018