Mount Palomar Winery opened our Solera in 1974, and created our first Solera Cream Sherry in 1978. What differentiates our Solera Cream Sherry from other Sherry, even Spanish Sherry, is our use of a traditional outdoor Solera system and top quality, traditional grapes. Our Sherry is made with two kinds of grapes: the classic Palomino, and Pedro Ximenez. Pedro Ximenez is used to make the finest quality Sherry in Spain, but is not commonly grown or used in California. Our technique is also unique, much of the Sherry produced today is baked, which is not inherently bad, but it creates a flavor that is full and coarse compared to the delicate, smooth, floral Sherry produced in a Solera. A Solera is an old world throw back that is rarely used, even in Spain, and we can say for sure that we use the last outdoor Solera in California, and possibly the last one in the United States. The slow Solera process produces a deep, rich flavor of caramel and hazelnuts, with a long, smooth finish, and aromas of hazelnuts and almonds. In our Solera, barrels of Sherry are set outdoors in the California sun, caramelizing the wine to give it a deep, rich flavor. The wine is moved through a series of barrels on stairs, mixing with wine from previous years, adding depth and complexity. That’s what makes it so consistently delicious – there’s 41 year old Sherry in the bottle, so the wine itself is full of history.
Another thing that makes our Sherry unique is the fact that it’s made in America, but it’s called Sherry. The term Sherry has protected status, and only wines produced in a specific area of Spain and made with Spanish grown grapes can be called Sherry, except for ours. We have such a long history of producing Sherry, and still use our classic recipe and techniques, so we’ve been grandfathered in and still get to use the name. Our Wine Maker, James Rutherford, has a long family history of producing Sherry, too. He’s related to George Yount, the first permanent settler in Napa Valley and the first person to plant grapes there. One of the first wines that he produced was a Sherry, made from Mission grapes.
Our Sherry has 18% alcohol by volume, and 12% residual sugar. The best way to enjoy it may be just to drink it straight in a traditional Sherry glass. It’s smaller than a wine glass, more like a brandy glass, and holding the bowl of the glass in the palm of your hand will warm it and help release the fragrances. It is definitely a sweet dessert wine, and it’s a wonderful accompaniment with shortbread cookies or baklava, or mixed with hot coffee, cream and brown sugar for an after dinner pick-me-up.
Other Sherry facts: The Amontillado referred to in the Cask of Amontillado is referring to a specific kind of Sherry. Sherry has a long production history in California that can be traced back to the California Missions. They used Mission grapes to produce a kind of Sherry called “Angelica”, named for the city of Los Angeles. Sherry, considered a classic Spanish drink, was actually introduced to Spain by the Moors of North Africa. The Grape Varietal Pedro Ximenez came to Spain from the Canary Islands, but is probably also a Moorish varietal.
You can buy our Solera Cream Sherry online here - http://bit.ly/mpcreamsherry
Want to give our Sherry a try? You can get 2 for 1 wine tastings Monday - Thursdays by printing our coupon, online here - http://bit.ly/2for1taste