To Javier Hidalgo, La Gitana Manzanilla and the incredible experience we had with Javier and his wife Paula at Riacheros out in the mashes of Las Marimas, north of my favorite Spanish town, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the place where God was born.
All photos and text by Gerry Dawes©2019.
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In early April 2012, after stays during Holy Week in Sevilla and Ronda, I took my spousal equivalent, Kay Balun, with me to Sanlúcar de Barrameda (See Sanlúcar Sunset in a Manzanilla Glass) to spend a couple of days with a long-time friend Javier Hidalgo, producer of Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla de Sanlúcar, and his wife, Paula de La Infiesta, at their finca, the charming, bucolic farm where they live between Sanlúcar and Chipiona.
Javier Hidalgo drinking his Bodegas Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado as an aperitif before our riacheros lunch at Las Compuertas out in the La Marisma marshes north of Sanlúcar.
In just two days, we managed a number of wonderful adventures, including a foray into Las Marismas, the famous wetlands and bird sanctuary north of Sanlúcar (and west across the Río Guadalquíver), where Javier and Paula took us to have lunch at a riacheros (river fishermen) bar-restaurant located in a place in La Marisma, so isolated and secret that I am not going to tell you the name (Whoops, I did mention the name already!)
to the riacheros, the men who fish the waters of La Marisma.
Camarones, tiny shrimp caught in Las Marismas shrimp and La Gitana Manzanilla sherry at the bar-restaurant that caters to the riacheros, the men who fish the waters of La Marisma.
The bird show continued back at Javier’s and Paula’s finca south of Sanlúcar, where Javier keeps ducks, geese, turkeys, Guinea hens, chickens including fiesty bantam roosters and a peacock that likes to fly up to the highest point of the homestead and shriek, often in the middle of the night, as peacocks are wont to do (see my article on
Javier Hidalgo loves animals and also keep three horses, which he exercises on local beaches and, during the spectacular annual thoroughbred races on Bajo de Guía beach each August in Sanlúcar, Javier, who maintains, still in his fifties, jockey weight, races his thoroughbred against much younger competition and has won a number of races.
Sunset in a glass, Manzanilla sherry along the Guadalquivir River at Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Gerry Dawes 2008 / email@example.com
Langostinos de Sanlúcar with La Gitana manzanilla, in evening light, Bajo de Guía beach on the Guadalquívir River, Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Other Articles of interest on Sherry:
Andalucian Journal: April in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Home of Manzanilla Sherry: Adventures with Javier Hidalgo, Producer of La Gitana Manzanilla, in Las Marismas, Lunch in a Very Secret Place
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More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
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