Interviews

Published on May 12th, 2014 | by Ruben

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Interview: Reyes Gómez (Sánchez Romate)

We’re introducing a new series here on SherryNotes: virtual interviews with “sherry insiders”, people working in the industry as a producer, capataz, brand ambassador, bottler… Obviously these people are the true heroes of the sherry region, they dedicate their time to making the best possible wines. We’ll serve them a couple of questions about their work and their love for sherry.

First up in this little series is Reyes Gómez Rubio from Bodegas Sánchez Romate. It’s remarkable how many women are active in the sherry industry, so I figured it was appropriate to start with one of these ladies. Let’s go.

 

What’s your official job description?

Technical director and oenologist of Bodegas Sánchez Romate.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

As the oenologist of the bodega, I’m directing all the processes related to the production of the wines, from the vineyard until the moment of bottling. I’m going through all the different stages: fermentation, maturation and ageing, treatments, analysis, quality control, audits, etc.

How did you start working in the sherry industry and why did you choose this particular sector?

Before getting my Master degree in Oenology, I studied chemical engineering. For these studies, I performed some practical exercises in the quality department of Sánchez Romate and later they offered me a contract. During the first few years, I worked very hard trying to make a space for myself. Now the company has a lot of confidence in me – they’ve given me a great opportunity so I wouldn’t dare to let them down.

In your opinion, what makes the unique quality of your bodega?

We focus on quality wines, which are aged well above the established timespans. We produce small batches and control every step of the process.

Among the sherry wines of your bodega, which makes you the most proud?

Amontillado is undoubtedly the kind of sherry that I like most (especially if it’s the Amontillado NPU), it’s really my favourite type and people who know me will confirm that I would always order Amontillado. But if there is something I’m particularly proud of, it is definitely our musts because they are the beginning of winemaking – in the vineyard is where all the adventure starts. After a careful picking of the grapes by hand, some soft pressing and controlled fermentation, our musts are of excellent quality each year. This I really feel very proud of, for these musts are the fruit of big efforts made by a great team.

What’s your favourite pairing of food and sherry?

This one is really easy to answer: a glass of Amontillado with a nice cheese from our Sierra de Cádiz. The most simple pairing possible.

What do you think the near future will hold for sherry? Which evolution or challenge seems most interesting to you?

In recent years there has been a revolution in sherry wines: consumers are discovering our wines again, more and more people are becoming interested, they’re attending tastings or sherry dinners, they’re visiting wineries, etc… The most interesting challenge now – in my humble opinion – is not to think that sherry will sell itself, we have to teach the world about the oenological jewels we have in our warehouses, starting with the education of the young and not so young. There are still many people who don’t know how many style of sherry we have available, and how they relate to each other, or how many grape varieties we have… We really have a duty to keep educating the consumer.

Thank you, Reyes, and all the best in your work at Sánchez Romate.

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About the Author

fell in love with sherry fifteen years ago, but switched to a higher gear in 2013 and started writing about it. Lived in Madrid for a couple of years, now back in Belgium. I also run a whisky blog over at www.whiskynotes.be



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