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The Marco del Jerez area has over 40 wineries that are like museums of wine, steeped in history, packed with old equipment, full of legends and even used as film sets.
The main wineries are in Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar, producing household brand names like Domecq, Sandeman, Marqués del Real Tesoro, William & Humbert, Osborne, Caballero, Terry, Garvey, La Guita, Pedro Romero, or Díez Mérito.
For example, Tío Pepe winery owned by González Byass houses more than 100,000 casks, with the oldest dating back well over 350 years. Leading figures from all walks of life have visited the winery, including the writer Leopoldo Alas "Clarín", Harold Lloyd, Jean Cocteau, Winston Churchill, Ayrton Senna, Roger Moore and Steven Spielberg. The list is endless.
The casks in some Jerez wineries bear famous quotes written on them by their illustrious visitors, such as the inventor of penicillin, who wrote: "my medicine cures the sick but this wine raises the dead".
The Concha winery in Jerez, designed by Gustave Eiffel, is well worth a visit.
The Valdivia winery has set up some guided tours that include special activities for children, while the tradition winery is home to one of the best collections of paintings in Spain, with works by Zurbarán, Velázquez, Madrazo and Lucas Villamil.
All the latest on Cadiz cuisine and wine at www.cosasdecome.es and www.sherry.org