Interviews

Published on December 24th, 2015 | by Ruben

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Interview: Manuel Lozano

This is part of our series of 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 presenting the best possible wines. We’ll serve them a couple of questions about their work and their love for sherry.

 

Featured today is Manuel Lozano, enologist at Bodegas Lustau. Since 1999, Mr. Lozano has been responsible for all Lustau wines, taking pride in continuing the traditions of his predecessors from the vineyards to the oaks. His passion, dedication and expertise led to a whole array of awards. For instance, in 2015 he was awarded Best Fortified Winemaker by the International Wine Challenge, for the seventh consecutive year!

 

Mr. Lozano, what’s your official job description?

Director of Production / Enologist, responsible for vineyards and bodegas in the D.O. Jerez / Xérès / Sherry for the Grupo Caballero – Lustau.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

  • Coordination of the tasks in our bodegas in Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María
  • Quality control of the wines in our soleras
  • Looking over the wines in every step of the production process
  • Selecting and making the wines ready for bottling
  • Management of vineyards
  • Hosting wine tastings

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

I started very young, at the end of the 1960s, when I studied Viticulture, and later Enology. At the age of 18 I started working in the laboratory of a big bodega in the Jerez region. I chose this area because of my love for wines and the direct contact with them, which originated in my family’s restaurant business.

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

The unique quality of the bodega is a mix of experience and innovation, based on many styles of wine, with a constant maintenance of quality from the vine to the bottle.

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

I feel proud of all wines, whether they are dry or sweet, biologically or oxidatively aged.

What’s your favourite pairing of food and sherry?

Within the classic pairings, I prefer the following:

  • Manzanilla with jamón ibérico
  • Fino with pescaito frito (battered and fried fish)
  • Dry Amontillado with artichokes
  • Palo Cortado with meat stews
  • Oloroso with game
  • Moscatel with sweet pastry
  • Pedro Ximénez with blue cheese

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

The future of sherry looks bright – I prefer to think the glass is half full and the consumption of sherry among young people is growing.

We need to invest more in the sherry culture, training and informing people about these wines, so that they are understood better.

Last but not least, there is an interesting challenge in the world of gastronomy. Bringing sherry to the tables is essential in my opinion.

Thank you so much, Manuel, and all the best in your work for Lustau.

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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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