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Horses and Sherry

March 09, 2007

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After breakfast in Seville, we headed off to Jerez, famous for its dancing Andalusian horses and sherry bodegas. It is a pretty short ride, I think about an hour away from Seville and on our way back to Marbella, so we timed it in order to see the famous horse ballet. Here is their great website for more photos/info:
http://www.realescuela.org/

There are no photos or videos allowed of the horse ballet in their 18th century costumes, but we got to see them warm up when we first arrived. Much of it is kind of slow, but elegant and  the arena was packed so we were glad we booked early since they sell out even in low season. We got the best seats right up front.

When they did their jumping on their hind legs half way across the huge arena, it was mind blowing.
I counted fifteen jumps in a row for one gorgeous, massive  white horse. We skipped the “sherry run” at intermission but enjoyed some yummy sweetened nuts from a vendor to hold us over until  lunch. Another interesting move the horses do is a jump  then kicking their hind legs out and lots of impressive dressage perfectly timed to the music. They really are spectacularly beautiful horses,but the show was a little different than I expected and longish.

Since we were on a tight schedule with limited walkers, I planned the three things in Jerez right together and that worked out well. Parking is difficult as usual, so we pulled into the hotel where we would be having lunch which was very convenient and safe. (Same trick we used in Ronda at the Parador and a good one in off season).

The Sandeman Bodega is right behind the Escuela De Arte  Escuestre so we headed there after the show.
A pretty bilingual girl with an Irish accent dressed in a Zorro like cape and Cordoba hat did the small  English group tour of the facilities and pouring for the tasting. We liked their logo & the tour was
well done.

We are not big sherry fans, in fact I don’t know if I even tasted it before, but it was interesting to learn a little more and taste a few. Jerez is the only place real sherry comes from and is responsible for its wealth. One of the most entertaining things was a pair of storks that come every spring to nest there and watching them feed their young.

Mozart loved the tour and it was captivating to compare and contrast the vineyard and wine making process with other kinds that we know well. The unique grey/white albariza soil traps the moisture which nurtures the vines. The aroma from the barrels was intriguing and tempting. Mozart’s favorite part was eating the olives, chips and pouring out our left overs from tasting!

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