Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Ruben1
Álvaro Domecq is a relatively young bodega, but the history of its wines goes back a long way.
Álvaro Domecq Romero was part of the influential Domecq family (son of the even more important Álvaro Domecq Díez). Originally from France, their winemaking tradition dates back to 1730, when their relatives of the Haurie family were running a bodega in Jerez together with the Irishman Patrick Murphy. Jean-Charles Haurie handed it over to Pedro Domecq Lembeye, one of his nephews, in 1822. After the second World War, the company was run by members of five branches of the family, presided by Don Alvaro. Around 1994 the family agreed to sell their business – one of the very oldest in Jerez – to Allied Lyons (now called Allied Domecq) and wines were sold to bodegas like Lustau, Tradición, Osborne and others.
Bodegas Pilar Aranda y Latorre
A few years later, Doña Pilar Aranda died. She inherited the bodegas of her father in 1946 and was the oldest surviving (1800) and of the most renowned almacenistas in Jerez. Most of the seven warehouses that were part of Bodegas Pilar Aranda y Latorre were leased out to bigger houses – around 85% of the annual production was sold to Gonzalez Byass for blending and 15% to Emilio Lustau, who bottled the wines in the dedicated Almacenista series (e.g. a renowned Amontillado Fino).
Álvaro Domecq (nicknamed Alvarito, little Álvaro) had been a succesful bullfighter and bull breeder. In 1998 he decided to buy the high quality stocks of Pilar Aranda and turned them into a new business. However there were some problems getting a license under his own name – copyright issues with Allied Domecq who thought there could only be one Domecq brand. Therefore the wines were still labeled Pilar Aranda until +/- 2004. After that, the dispute was settled and the brand was set to go.
Don Álvaro Domecq was a true Spanish aristocrat who lived a traditional and colourful live. He was a succesful pilot in General Franco’s air force, he was an eminent horseman, a breeder of fighting bulls and a respected torero, a mayor of Jerez under Franco, a deputy in the parliament and last but not least, a fervent member of Opus Dei. He died in 2005 and most of the company stake was sold to its current owner, the investment company Inveravante / Avanteselecta, making it part of a large group which includes a whole list of Spanish wineries, distribution companies and hotels.
Álvaro Domecq sherry range
Note that until 2004-2005, all wines were still labeled Pilar Aranda.
- Manzanilla La Jaca, around four years old
- Fino La Janda, around five years old
- Oloroso Alburejo, of around ten to twelve years
- Aranda Cream, a blend of Oloroso with 25% of P.X.
- Pedro Ximénez Viña 98
- The 1730 series (referring to the foundation of the Bodegas Pedro Domecq, not Álvaro Domecq, nor Pilar Aranda – a bit misleading). There’s the Oloroso V.O.R.S. 1730, Amontillado V.O.R.S. 1730 and Palo Cortado V.O.R.S. 1730, all over 30 years of age, and a younger Pedro Ximénez 1730. Not all of these wines are produced in-house, which means they are sporadically released and hard to find sometimes. Until +/- 2005, these wines didn’t have the V.O.R.S. statement.
The company also produces the Brandy Veragua Reserva and Duque de Veragua, as well as the sherry vinegars Vinagre 1730 and Vinagre de la Familia.
C/ Madre de Dios
Jerez de la Frontera
Tel. +34 956 33 96 34