Valdespino is among few family-owned bodegas in Jerez, and with a history of sherry production going back six centuries, also one of the oldest. Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, and they own 750 hectares of their own vineyards in Jerez, rare in this region, which allows them close control over grape quality. Their Pago Macharnudo vineyard provides the grapes for their single vineyard wines, which include the Fino 'Inocente', the 'Amontillado 'Tio Diego' and the Palo Cortado 'Viejo CP'. They are one of the only bodegas currently producing single vineyard sherries. Valdespino is also renowned for their VOS (Very Old Sherries) with over 20 years of ageing and VORS (Very Old Rare Sherries), with over 30 years of ageing.
The Palomino grapes for the Manzanilla come from Valdespino's single vineyard (Pago) Miraflores, which is situated in Sanlucar de Barrameda. The white 'albariza' soil is typical of the region, and comes from a layer of earth rich in marine fossils. Thanks to the high content of calcic carbonate, its clayey texture does not split; it is soft when wet and absorbs rain like a sponge, and when it dries out it forms a layer that holds in the water, preventing evaporation. This reserve of moisture encourages the vine roots to develop, some reaching to more than four metres depth, allowing them to use this water reserve when needed.
The must is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to preserve crisp, fresh fruit flavours. At this stage is has reached between 10.5% and 12% alcohol, and is then fortified to 15% and the 'flor' yeast layer is encouraged to develop, protecting the wine from oxygen and transforming its components. The Manzanilla bodega is situated in Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the climate is cooler than inland Jerez, and as a result the 'flor' layer is thicker, offering more protection to the wine and therefore more freshness and saline character. The wine ages biologically, spending five years under the 'flor', and producing a more delicate style of Sherry.
Pale straw yellow coloured, with a delicate yeasty, bready note on the nose, as well as a hint of flower blossom. On the palate it is very dry, crisp and fresh with a slightly saline finish.