La Cigarerra Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Producer: La Cigarerra
Varietal: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain
Manzanilla is a style of Fino Sherry that can only be made in town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The unique climate of this town enables a unique strain of flor yeast to grow year-round, creating an especially delicate and briny Fino. Stable humidity and gentle temperature fluctuations make this region an ideal climate for this otherwise finicky and particular yeast.
La Cigarrera began life as an almacenista (warehousing or wholesaling) operation in 1758. Eventually, a small production of 500 barrels was started in in one of the rented facilities (an old convent) of the operation. This would eventually become La Cigarerra, named after the women who would traditionally sell cigars along the streets in Sanlúcar. Ignacio Hidalgo, the great-grandson of the original almacenista head, runs the bodega today. He was one of the first to begin bottling Manzanilla under his own label, and is one of the leaders in independent, small production Manzanilla in an arena given over almost entirely to large production houses.