Experience a taste of Southern Spain with Productos del Marcos, artisanal sherries and fresh food products from Jerez
About an hour away from Seville is a city called Jerez in the province of Cadiz. Located in southwestern Spain and only 12km from the Atlantic sea, Jerez spans vast lands of fertile ground and benefits from subtropical and mediterranean climates of mild and warm temperatures, even during winter months.
Part of the Andalusian region, (of which Jerez makes up the fifth largest city), the more popular areas have been glorified by British holidaymakers; locations such as Malaga, with its popular beach resorts in the city of Marbella, will sound familiar - or the province of Granada with its famous Alhambra palace. Venture further west, and there’s still more discover.
Visiting the city of Jerez, you’ll find that it’s practically untouched land in comparison to surrounding provinces. Yet, this small and rather modest city is currently thriving as the world-capital of sherry wine. The history behind the sherry wine grape and the city’s name dates back as far as the 12th century and really typifies the meaning behind provenance. The name ‘sherry’ was named after Jerez’s original name produced in the High Middle Ages. This ancient Arabic spelling during pre-1500s Spain was pronounced as a ‘Sh’ to make the name ‘Sherish’. The wine moreover, has been named after its motherland and for this reason, makes it almost impossible for any another province, both in Spain or internationally, to benefit from the agricultural and economical prospects that Sherry wine brings in the same way that Jerez can.
Jerez’s enviable location on the map, with its warm climate and fertile soils has produced high-quality food and drinks founded on cultivation and tradition. Over the last century, Jerez has welcomed many acclaimed bodegas (wine, sherry and brandy cellars or caves) as well as pig farms for their famous Iberian ham, natural salt lakes, olive vineyards for the production of fresh olive oils and goat farms to produce cheese, milks and yoghurts. One company who fell in love with the unique variety of food and drink that Jerez has to offer is Productos del Marco, founded by two Welshmen, Graeme Hooper and David Mitchell.
The company offers a select variety of artisan products centered upon sherry and other wines grown and produced in the primary vineyard region of Jerez named ‘El Marco de Jerez’. The region forms a triangle bounded by the north point connecting the Guadalquivir River and the south point next to the Guadalete River with Jerez joining between them – this is otherwise known as the Sherry Triangle. Since their first visit, the two entrepreneurs (also life-long friends) have continued to re-visit this part of Spain from their hometown of Cardiff, Wales and through their mutual passion for sherry, have discovered an assembly of artisanal products that are grown and produced within the area.
Rick Stein’s recent visit to Cadiz, just 36 km south of Jerez on the southwestern seafront, cemented the news that authentic Spanish sherry is worth the fuss. In the U.K, sherry has carried a reputation as the staple Christmas gift for grannies – out of place bottles on the supermarket shelves filled with sweet cream. Spanish sherry however, carries depth - and its flavour can be distinguished by fine details such as those with a slightly saltier taste as the grape has had the privilege of growing with a daily sea breeze from the Southern Spanish coast.
Productos del Marco offers sherries, wines, meats and cheeses and has scoured the region to choose the best of each. Quality and taste were at the forefront of their decision-making, as well as overall consideration of the environment during production and the common welfare of the animals at the Ibérico black pig and goat farms. Having visited the natural salt lakes, olive oil factories, wine bodegas and farms, it’s easy to see how the humbleness of these producers helps crops and animals to thrive in a region so well-suited to natural, organic growth.
The chorizo for example, is produced on a family-run farm named El Bucarito spanning 17 glorious hectares of green countryside. The farm looks after Iberian black pigs for ham and goats to produce pasteurised cheese, milk and yoghurt. All animal feed is produced on the farm by El Bucarito and their waste is used in the soil, creating a self-sustainable farming process. The cheese produced is cured and semi-cured and is sold in traditional flavours with added herbs, peppers or even sweetened wine. The Ibérico pork is sold in slices or as chorizo sausages in many varieties. All products are sold vacuum-packed so that they keep fresh for up to several months – perfect for parties that require a little planning in advance.
The cheeses and hams have been picked specifically to go with a selection of certain sherries, wines and brandies that you can find on their website. Award-winning sherry, wine and brandy produced by local bodega Rey Fernando de Castilla is aged in French and American oak barrels and range from pale and light finos to more antique, older sherries. Choose from a selection of meats and wines to host a party, celebrate a special occasion or discover about Spanish history and culture through artisanal, local produce delivered straight to your door.
To find out more about Productos del Marco, visit their website www.productosdelmarco.com or
contact them on email@example.com.