Published on January 17th, 2021 | by Ruben0
Barbadillo: 200 years of history
Barbadillo is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2021, making it one of the oldest bodegas in Sanlúcar.
In 1821, after returning from 20 years in Mexico, Don Benigno Barbadillo settled in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and acquired a business of ultramarinos (oversees products). In 1824 they purchased the Bodega del Toro, an 18th century bodega in the Barrio Alto. It’s still in use and a great example of the early style of bodega buildings, uniting four separate isles around a tree lined cobbled courtyard. The other name for this bodega is perhaps more apt: El Cuadro (the square) and each of the four buildings has a name: San Joaquin, San Antonio, and the well-known La Pastora and Trinidad. It’s here that the Barbadillo family bottled the first wine ever to be called Manzanilla (Divina Pastora) in 1827 and sent a parcel to the US.
200th Anniversary logo
Recently they’ve started a year of festivities and special events, starting with the presentation of a special logo for this celebration year. It includes the typical arches of the cathedral-style bodega La Arboledilla, which is not only an archetypical bodega but also a great example of how a building can maintain a healthy environment for the maturation of wines in a perfectly ecological way. It’s used as a symbol for a series of environmental projects within the company (the new Sábalo white wine as well as the installation of the first soleras of ecological sherries).
Historic bottle archive
At the same time they emptied a space within the Casa de la Cilla (their headquarters) and created a sample room, a bottle archive with a capacity of 25.000 bottles (now filled with around 8000). It holds the oldest 1999 editions of the Manzanilla Solear En Rama for instance, and old examples of Castillo de San Diego. It even holds some experiments of blancos de parcela (single vineyard white wines) produced by Manuel Barbadillo in the 1930s. The aim is not only to have an overview of their production but also investigate bottle ageing effects. Further proof of the fact that Barbadillo believes their wines (and sherry in general) can benefit from bottle ageing.