Spanish brandy celebrated

THERE is more to Spain than economic crisis and high unemployment. Over the last century, Spain has given the world everything from popular personalities like actress Pénelope Cruz and painter Salvador Dalí, world-renowned restaurants and the popular brandy, Soberano, as Ambassador Félix Valdés pointed out when marking the 100-year anniversary of the beverage.

(Source: Courtesy of González Byass)

THERE is more to Spain than economic crisis and high unemployment. Over the last century, Spain has given the world everything from popular personalities like actress Pénelope Cruz and painter Salvador Dalí, world-renowned restaurants and the popular brandy, Soberano, as Ambassador Félix Valdés pointed out when marking the 100-year anniversary of the beverage.

Soberano’s story is about the production and fortification of wine and a successful family business.

Manuel María González Ángel established a winery in Jerez in Andalusia, a Sherry producing region, back in 1835. Over time the company, now called González Byass, expanded into production of Sherry, brandies and liquors. Dating back to 1913, Soberano has since become one of the most popular brandies in Spain.

Carlos González-Gordon, who personally attended the anniversary celebration in Bratislava, represents the fifth generation of the family business.

González-Gordon explained to The Slovak Spectator that Soberano is produced from Airén grapes in La Mancha. The wine is distilled and then aged in American oak casks, to which Sherry wine has been previously added through the traditional soleras system. The brandy must then age for a year in order to achieve its full-bodied flavour. According to González-Gordon, Soberano’s flavour has developed over the years, in tandem with the market, and while the brandy has a traditional taste, they are also making some variations.

Soberano must have an alcohol content of 36 percent in order to qualify as brandy. In this respect González-Gordon explained that the lower alcohol content means that people can drink more without consuming too much alcohol. But the next Soberano brandy to come to Slovakia will be stronger, promised González-Gordon: “It has a very long aging [process]; the water is evaporating and it is a bit more concentrated.”

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