We were lucky enough to have the Communication Manager for the Osborne Group, Ivan Llanza, host one of our LRC Private workshops and reveal the history and secrets behind the Osborne family’s unique collection of wines, sherries and brandy. He invites our members and followers to pour themselves a glass of sherry and enjoy the experience!
Osborne is one of Spain’s oldest brands of wines and spirits, with a long and proud heritage of making fine sherries and brandy. Founded by Thomas Osborne Mann in 1772 and run by the same family for over seven generations, it makes wonderful sherries in the Cadiz province to be enjoyed locally and all around the world. The Sherry is produced in the 6,000-hectare area known as the Sherry Triangle, which includes Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlucar.
They make several different types of sherries – Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso and Cream. They are also famous for their brandies, including their world-renowned Carlos I, 1866 and Magno. They are a huge food and beverage group which also make wines, spirits, hams and cured meats through their brand Cinco Jotas which also has restaurants as well as creating the best ham in Jabugo, offering the best possible Spanish produce and exporting to 50 countries.
In this one-hour workshop Iván talks about wines, sherries and brandies, their history and how they are made and should be enjoyed.
Three different grape varieties can be found in this area: Palomino Fino – which produces dry sherry, Moscatel and Pedro Jimenez which produces sweet sherry. The micro-climate and chalky soil is essential for the production and quality of the grapes, which has made the region so famous.
Ivan explains that the harvest is made by hand around the end of August or beginning of September. The grapes are crushed and then heated to trigger the alcohol production, creating the young wine. This is then stored outside the cellar for one year, before being transferred into the sherry cellar to start the aging process in American Oak casks. This is a dynamic aging process which combines the different harvests and blends to give a consistent product year on year.
After explaining the production and history, Ivan moved on to the tasting of the sherries and brandies. He selected different types which can be enjoyed throughout the meal, such as Fino and Manzanilla which is great as an aperitif and needs to be enjoyed very cold. He moved on to Oloroso (dry and medium) which is the perfect pairing for red meats, then to the special VORS sherries and finally the brandies which work very well as an accompaniment with desserts.
If you want to taste along with Ivan you should purchase the following, which can be bought online from the Osborne website –
The Osborne Coquinero Fino and manzanilla which are good to pair with ham, cheese and seafood and must be served very cold.
Osoborne Bailén Oloroso a dry oloroso, perfect to be enjoyed with your main course, particularly game and strong cheese.
Osborne 10 RF is a medium oloroso, which Ivan describes as the “most friendly sherry” as it is perfectly balanced and pairs well with soups, white meats, oily fish and cured cheeses as well as with desserts.
VORS Capuchino is a very special Palo Cortado sherry which is aged for 30 years and works very well with fish stews, game and quality charcuterie. It is award winning and an exceptional wine.
Solera BC200 is one of the oldest in the bodega, it’s aged for 40 years and is a very powerful wine. It is ideal for drinking as an aperitif or with dessert and is one of Ivan’s favourites.
Solera Pedro Ximenez Viejo is a dessert wine, which is considered the winery’s flagship and highly prized wine. It is sweet, unctuous and luxurious, just perfect for the end of the meal.
Ivan finally moves on to talk about the brandies, introducing one of their most famous, the Carlos I Solera Gran Reserva Brandy aged in barrels which contained Amontillado and Oloroso sherry.
Ivan also recommends a cold glass of sherry at ‘Hole 19’ after your round of golf, or at The Beach!
We hope you enjoy this fascinating workshop and tasting. Cheers!!
Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, you can visit the Bodegas Osborne in El Puerto Santa Maria, under two hours’ drive from Sotogrande, and experience the history, skill and passion involved in making these wonderful wines and brandies and of course taste the wonderful produce.