March 14, 2023
Scottish whisky maker The Macallan introduces a new partnership with Spanish vineyard owners Bodegas Grupo Estévez, S.L, continuing in its longstanding relationship with the wine culture of Jerez.
The group’s vineyards are part of the historic sherry maker of Valdespino – a house founded back in 1264 in the Middle Ages. The partnership with them will give The Macallan sherry-seasoned oak casks, the sherry originating from the Estévez vineyards and having been kept in house bodegas in Jerez.
The Macallan celebrates the bioregion of Jerez in the partnership, praising the land in the announcement.
Using the old art of cask aging, the flavors of the local woods and earth infuses into the substance within. In this way, the act of sherry making is the act of bonding with the land, presenting consumers with a chance to literally taste the Spanish countryside.
The relationship between The Macallan and Jerez, Spain goes back to 1824. Today, The Macallan has formed a partnership with Bodegas @GrupoEstevez, S.L., owners of renowned vineyards and bodegas of Valdespino.
Discover more: https://t.co/KHK5eFQzgs
Please savour responsibly. pic.twitter.com/Dfcl9w4CDw
— The Macallan (@The_Macallan) March 10, 2023
Partnering with the sherry maker is another step along a long path of Spanish relationships, the brand exploring the wine region of Jerez in its founding year of 1824.
“The soil, the sun, the community, the people, this place, Jerez, it all becomes one in a cask,” said Jaume Ferras, creative director of The Macallan, in a statement.
The communities and natural landscape of Jerez serve to direct the flavors, demonstrating how the use of casks is a practice in letting the earth take the lead in creation.
To make the sherry, the historic house uses American and European varieties of oak for the casks, allowing them to act as seasoning. The same method is used to mature The Macallan’s single malt Scotch whiskey.
The casks are also the source of The Macallan’s signature natural colors, known for their warmth. It also ensures high-quality taste, distinct flavors and strong scents, transporting tasters to the vineyards where their drinks were born.
This is a truly traditional way of creating sherry, and with the house having such deep roots, tradition is certainly a strong suit.
“The partnership with Grupo Estévez demonstrates the creativity and innovation that has driven The Macallan since it was founded almost 200 years ago and continues the brand’s evolution through masters collaborating with masters,” said Igor Boyadjian, managing director of The Macallan, in a statement.
Thanks to what the Andalusians call "Albariza" or the white, chalky soil that is distinct to the Spanish region, sherry grapes are easier to grow than others.
Since the type of soil is rich in calcium and heavily porous, it soaks up moisture in a way that makes irrigation unnecessary for the vines. Thanks to the reflective nature of the white surface, it also allows for stronger photosynthesis, creating heartier grapes during the wet, Spanish winters.
However, climate change could seriously change the way these arid regions operate on the viticulture front, as it is already making soils already change on a chemical level. For example, it is causing a widespread increase of alkalinity, chilling the soils and therefore making for more acidic wines – one reason for the sudden rise of the lemon in wine pairings (see story).
But for now, the soil is holding, creating a specifically Spanish taste, allowing for consumers to get a more proactive rather than passive tasting experience. With it being so distinctly regional in taste, it makes for a highly immersive drink.
As demand for immersive luxury is so high, turning to sherry is a particularly lucrative move, allowing The Macallan to further distinguish itself and cultivate a more captured audience in millennials (see story).