Sherry types

Sherry is a fortified wine, produced in Spain’s sherry triangle. Located in the province of Andalucia, this triangle consists of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María. The soil in this region is chalky, limestone based, and provides the perfect conditions for growing the Palomino grape, Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel, the three grapes used for making sherry wine.

Depending on your source and the way they look at it, you will find there are two types of sherry, or three, four, eight, ten or eleven.

Two major styles of sherry

In fact there are two major categories of sherry: those that are biologically aged (under a layer of flor yeast – Fino and Manzanilla) and those that are oxidatively aged (in absence of flor – Oloroso). Two intermediate styles exist (Amontillado and Palo Cortado), they start as a biologically aged wine but gradually loose their layer of flor and continue their maturation in the oxidative way. All of these wines are naturally dry, but there are also two types of naturally sweet wines (Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel) as well as a category of artificially sweetened wines (called Cream sherry or Dulce).

For more information about the most important styles of sherry, follow the links below:

In its official sherry classifications, the Consejo Regulador defines four types of sweetened sherries according to the sugar level (Dry, Pale Cream, Medium and Cream) as well as a separate Dulce category, which is naturally sweet. In practice though, the only significant difference is whether they are artificially sweetened or not, and I think it’s easier to see them as one group of sweet sherries made from Palomino grapes (contrary to Moscatel or PX).

  • NIPPER_Amsterdam_NL

    Dear Ruben,

    You are writing about 8 different types of sherry, but there are actually 10 official types:

    1. Fino
    Clear, straw-colored, dry, light and fragrant. Contains 15 to 17% alcohol by volume.
    2. Amontillado
    Certain hazelnut flavor. Contains 16 to 18% alcohol by volume.
    3. Oloroso
    Dark, golden color. Strong, but light. Contains 18 to 20% alcohol by volume.
    4. Palo Cortado
    Between Amontillado and Oloroso. Contains 18 to 20% alcohol by volume.
    5. Raya
    Part of the Oloroso group, but less delicate.
    6. Pedro Ximenez
    Sweet, made with raisins, it has a very high alcohol content and is very aromatic.
    More Info
    7. Moscatel
    Sweet raisin wine. This wine is produced in Malaga and is warm and sweet, and has a dark color.
    8. Cream
    Very sweet wine. Made by adding alcohol to “must” that has just begun to ferment. Must is the juice of freshly crushed grapes before fermented into wine. It can include skins, pulp and and seeds. A good dessert wine.
    9. Color
    Made by fermenting fresh must and adding concentrated must.
    10. Manzanilla
    This type is produced in Sanlucar de Barrameda. It is very pale and dry. It contains 15 to 17% alcohol by volume.

    Cheers !

    Hans Stok.

    PS: Are you deleting comments and not responding to them, since I posted the above already a few days ago on your site, but I can not find it back and I can not find my comment inwhich I am informing you about the The Great Sherry Tasting on 30 september 2013 in Amsterdam ?

  • SherryNotes

    Hans, first of all, your information is incorrect. I contacted you about this on your GMail address (the one connected to your Discuss account). Rayas and vinos de color are not part of the latest official classification, see

    Secondly, comments that are posted in totally unrelated articles, might be deleted. I suppose you don’t read that e-mail address then?

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