The La Guita winery, nestled in the small town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, was first established under Bodegas Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín by founder Domingo Pérez Marín, in 1852. When curious patrons inquired about his top-of-the-line Manzanilla, he would simply reply, “Do you have the guita?” This term is derived from old Andalusian slang, meaning “cash,” though its more familiar definition translates to “string.” Today, a small piece of string adorns every bottle of this alluring Manzanilla as an homage to its humble beginnings.
Location of Vineyard
Sanlucar de Barrameda dates back to Roman times. After the Romans invaded and built a defensive fort here, it evolved into a major port under the Catholics. Columbus set sail from Sanlúcar in 1498 and, a few decades later, the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan set off to circumnavigate the globe from here in search of a westerly route to the spice islands of Indonesia. The town is situated at the northern tip of the sherry triangle (the other two points being Jerez and El Puerto de Santa Maria) and is located on the Guadalquivir river estuary which empties into Atlantic Ocean in the Cadiz Province of Andalucía (Southwest Spain). The bodega is situated inside the very same walls of what was once Sanlúcar de Barrameda’ s main hospital in 1589 inside of the city’s striking historic center.
La Guita is the only Manzanilla produced exclusively from the Pago Miraflores vineyards around Sanlúcar; an area known for its famed Albariza Superior soils (the highest soil-quality standard, according to the DO Sherry Regulatory Board) that lend the characteristic mineral quality that makes this Manzanilla so memorable. La Guita sees tremendous success in its domestic market as the leading Sherry/Manzanilla brand in Spain. A defining principle of the winery is that each bottle is prepared upon demand. La Guita was the first bodega to print the bottling date on its bottles, guaranteeing proper rotation and perpetuating its trademark reputation of being the freshest Manzanilla in the market.
Manzanilla is a form of fine, dry Sherry which is produced around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Manzanilla Sherry is made in the same way as Fino Sherry however; the cooling Atlantic Ocean winds coming off the Gulf of Cadiz creates an environment where the yeast often grows better. The resulting thicker layer of yeast protects the wine from the air even further; giving the Sherry an even finer and more delicate flavor than other Fino Sherries.
There is an ongoing dispute surrounding the name of this variety of Spanish Sherry. Manzanilla translates to chamomile in Spanish (in Latin chamomile means “earth apple”) so some people believe this style of sherry is named after apples as it tastes a little bit like the fruit. Some people believe that it tastes like chamomile tea. Other theories claim that the grape vine used at the beginning of the existence of this drink was called manzanilla and that the wines resemble those that came from the town of Manzanilla during the 15th century.