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The 6 DO wine regions in Andalusia (Spain)
Manzanilla is a variety of fino sherry made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barramedamarker, in the province of Cádizmarker, Andalusiamarker (Spainmarker). In Spanish, chamomile tea is called "manzanilla", and thus this wine gets the name because the wine's flavour is said to be reminiscent of such tea.

The sherry is manufactured using the same methods as a fino and results in a very pale, dry wine. In addition, the sherry is often described as having a salty flavour, believed to develop from the fact that it is manufactured on the sea estuary of the Guadalquivir river. Sanlúcar de Barrameda's cool temperatures and high humidity contribute to a higher yield of flor yeast than in Jerez or El Puerto de Santa Maríamarker. The thicker cap of flor better protects the wine from contact with the air, resulting in a fresher, more delicate flavour than other varieties of fino.

Special types of Manzanilla

  • Manzanilla Pasada is a manzanilla aged longer than usual (approximately 7 years), so that its veil of flor begins to fade, though not long enough to become an amontillado.
  • Manzanilla Amontillada is similar to a manzanilla pasada but in some cases aged as long as 12 years, taking on more of the qualities of an amontillado.
  • Manzanilla Olorosa is a rich form of Manzanilla that takes on the quality of oloroso through extended aging.


A glass of manzanilla

Serving

Manzanilla is best served chilled at 7-10°C, with olives, almonds, or other tapas such as Jamón serrano or seafood.

Storing

Like fino, manzanilla is a delicate form of sherry and should be drunk within a year of bottling. Once opened it will immediately begin to deteriorate and should be drunk in one sitting for the best results. If necessary it can be stored, corked and refrigerated, for up to one week after opening.

References




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