The great sherry revival


For García, bag-in-box is more environmentally friendly and the natural evolution. He adds: “Do you still use a typewriter to write articles or do you use a computer? Do you go to work riding a horse or do you go by car or public transportation? We have to adapt to the modern way of living. Many years ago the bag-in-box was seen as a container for cheap wines, however that view probably is from the ’90s. Nowadays you can find many types of wines in bag-in-box. For example, there are wines from Saint Emilion in Bordeaux that use it.”

Saldaña says the Consejo sees the latest decision as a partial and temporary victory for the bodegas that are pro-bag-in-box. “The Consejo has immediately started the process in order to change its regulation so that there is no other possible interpretation but the one the industry has opted for: the use of glass bottles as the exclusive containers for sherry and manzanilla. It will therefore be just a matter of time that bag-in-box sales to the on-premise channel will again be forbidden. We calculate less than a year to complete the whole legal process to publish the amendment to our regulations.”

The likes of García are ready. He says: “Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana will continue fighting for the use of bag-in-box at the on-trade business. I have to deliver to my customer the best manzanillas in the best container. Time will give us the reason. By the way, as soon as one of the biggest retailers in Spain asks its sherry supplier to have Manzanilla on bag-in-box, this war will end.”

Despite protests to the contrary from both sides, the fight looks set to continue for a while and it’s good to see – as a neutral anyway – that the category and all those involved in it still have fight in them to challenge clichés and keep the sherry cycle moving.