Gonzalez Byass and La Feria

Gonzalez Byass and La Feria

Gonzalez Byass
Left Conatiner

Antonio Flores Presents the 2017 Tio Pepe Fino Palmas Collection

Last year, we were extremely privileged to have Antonio Flores, Winemaker and Master Blender for Gonzalez Byass visit the New Zealand market for some Sherry promotions, along with Xavier Vicente, Regional Sales Manager for Asia-Pacific.

Antonio Flores has had a very strong link with González Byass since his birth in the cellar where his father was production manager for 50 years. After graduating from the University of Rovira and Virgili of Tarragona, Antonio returned to his native Jerez to join the technical team of González Byass in 1980. Antonio is a true specialist in the oxidative and biological aging of the wines of Jerez, with significant experience in the development of the flor and its chemical reactions with Sherry.

Antonio was named the International Wine Challenge Fortified Winemaker of the Year and Spanish Winemaker of the Year in 2016. In addition, his wines regularly receive top accolades including Champion Fortified, Palo Cortado Trophy, Amontillado Trophy and Fino Trophy in recent years.

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Antonio Flores


Antonio conducted both trade and consumer tastings in Auckland and Wellington featuring the 2017 release of the Tio Pepe Fino Palmas collection and he also demonstrated pouring Sherry using a traditional Sherry Venencia.

The Tio Pepe Fino Palmas range is made up of four rare, barrel-selected Fino and Amontillado sherries, all bottled “en rama” without filtration or clarification. For almost two centuries, Gonzalez Byass has used the palma chalk mark system to classify its highest quality Finos based on their age and finesse. The youngest of these exceptional wines is given “Una Palma” while the older and rarer casks are given up to “Cuatro Palmas”. 

For enquiries on the latest release of Gonzalez Byass Palmas, please enquire through your Negociants NZ Area Manager.


Boris Iván demonstrates the versatility of Sherry in Cocktails

In April this year, we had Boris Iván, International Spirits Ambassador for Gonzalez Byass in New Zealand to conduct Sherry Cocktail masterclasses. Boris has had a long career in hospitality, having worked part time in bars during his university years, he then worked in bars throughout Prague and the United Kingdom, as well as working privately for A-List Celebrities, including Jay Z and Robbie Williams. He was also part of a team at Hush Bar in Mayfair to win several awards for molecular mixology at the First Bar Show in Barcelona. He won first place in 2011 representing the UK in the European Mixing Star Final. He joined Gonzalez Byass in 2016.

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Boris Ivan


Sherry Cocktails have been a strong trend in international markets and Sherry is an essential product for every bar and restaurant. Fino Sherries are lighter and drier than dry white wine, whereas at the other end of the range, Pedro Ximinez is rich, smooth and sweet. Amontillado is often used in cocktails, as it is medium-bodied and has intriguing nutty notes and complexity that adds layers of flavour without all the alcohol that spirits contribute. There is a wide range of Sherries available that enables it to be poured for every occasion, including as a chilled aperitif, with a dessert or as part of a cocktail.

During his visit to New Zealand, Boris focused on the different types of Sherry produced by Gonzalez Byass and how they should be served, as well practical advice on how to effectively use different styles of sherry to make innovative and edgy cocktails. Boris demonstrated three different classic cocktails during the masterclass and his recipes are below. The cocktails were all served in the Riedel Bar Collection Nick and Nora glass – a stemmed glass for an elegant and classy cocktail.


  • 45ml Black Robin Rare Gin
  • 25ml Tio Pepe
  • 10ml Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX
  • 5ml Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dashes of Lavender bitters
  • Orange zest as a garnish

Reverse Manhatten

  • 50ml Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso
  • 30ml Scotch Blended Whisky
  • 15ml Agave Syrup
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • Pinch of salt


  • 50ml Tio Pepe
  • 30ml Gonzalez Byass La Copa Vermouth
  • Dash of Orange bitters

The products highlighted are all available from Negociants New Zealand including a new product, Gonzalez Byass La Copa Sherry Vermouth.

Gonzalez Byass revived the tradition of making Red Vermouth using original recipes from the winery’s archive dating back to the 19th Century. Vermouth La Copa is made from the distinguished Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez soleras, blended together with a special selection of eight botanicals including wormwood, savory, clove, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, angelic root and cinchona bark. This has resulted in intense spiced aromas with an elegant, yet seductive, bitterness on the finish. It is perfect served chilled as an aperitif on its own or with soda and ice and ideal of course in cocktails.



Negociants New Zealand was invited to send a trade representative to Spain to visit the wineries of Gonzalez Byass and The Feria in May 2018 and Stephen Morris from Avida was the very lucky person to take up this unique travel experience.

Following is his summary of the trip:

As we walked into the Feria, Dani looked back at me questioningly. Yes. This was it - and it was everything one had hoped for and more. The lights, the smells, the people, the women in flamenco dress, the horses, the carriages with drivers in prim uniforms, the yellow-brown soil, just starting to dry out from the overnight watering. But I have got ahead of myself.

The Asia-Pacific Gonzalez Byass trip to Jerez for the Feria 2018 began in Barcelona on a Thursday. We met each other, had a fine seafood dinner, and a few post-prandial gins.

Friday saw a visit to Vilarnau, the cava producer. A tour of the vineyard and winery, a tasting, and a big lunch ~ this was the first of a trend. Most remarkable here was the experimental fermentation of small batches from specific vineyards in amphora, made from clay from those same vineyard sites.

And then to the airport and a flight to San Sebastian ~ Donostia and the luxury of the Maria Cristina hotel. Opulent is a poor descriptor. Xavi, our host and the Regional Sales Director (Asia-Pacific) for Gonzalez Byass, led us on a tapas tour, followed by kilos of beef and a 2012 Beronia graciano. A digestif or two (gin) may also have been enjoyed.

After a hands-on cooking class at the Mimo cooking school, including a tour of the markets, we departed for Logroño, the capital of Rioja. For dinner, a tapas tour with a difference ~ each bar specializing in one dish, a glass of wine, and on to the next. After gin nightcaps it appeared to be bedtime.

Next morning saw us travel to Bodegas Beronia and their 31000 barrel cellar, complete with Gregorian chanting. More innovation was on show with a mixed barrel tasting: American vs French vs a mix of American staves and French ends - the American boldness tempered by the French elegance. And of course, no winery tour and tasting would be complete without a big lunch ~ and this was no exception. With Nomad whisky and Lepanto brandy to finish.

The old town of Toledo was our dinner destination, after a sleepy bus ride. I rose early the next morning to explore the cobbled city. I walked in a circle once and found myself outside the city walls but still found the hotel before our 10am departure.

An hour away we were met at Finca Constancia with a delightful glass of 6 - a faintly fizzy sweet muscat. More experimentation was evident in the rows of malbec, zinfandel, montepulciano et al lining the driveway - each with their own dedicated hi-tech tank for fermentation. Our tour had a tasting (with an excellent 2017 Parcela 52 verdejo) and a lunch. This was in danger of becoming a weighty habit.

That night in Madrid started with a drink at La Venencia - an old sherry bar with 5 barrels only. Cash, no cards. No photos! Dinner was inside due to the fastest and heaviest downpour I’ve seen. And then some gins to finish.

The fast train got us to Jerez mid-afternoon and we drove out to Finca Moncloa, a Gonzalez Byass property dedicated to red wine, including a sweet red from the Tintilla de Rota grape.

Dinner that night was in the Gonzalez Byass caseta in the heart of the Feria. The first impressions I gave above were enhanced with plenty of icy cold Tio Pepe, live music, dancing, and of course, gin.

Wednesday saw us tour the mini village (7-8 hecatres) that is Gonzalez Byass in Jerez. We looked at the stills, the signed barrels. We watched part of the Tio Pepe Challenge, the international cocktail competition, which included, later in the night, pouring with a venencia.

There was, of course, a tasting - with the highlight an amazing añada 1987 - intense salinity, orange peel, rich but light, vibrant, complexity plus.

This was to be overshadowed after dinner, when, as the flamenco was danced, a Chinese porcelain spoon was set in front of each guest. Molasses-thick, unctuous, date, dried fig, chocolate, with incredible length, mouth-filling but not cloying - 1903 moscatel.

After that, all that is left to say is a big thank you to Negociants NZ and to Gonzalez Byass for the generous trip of a lifetime and some incredible vinous memories. 1903!

Stephen Morris – Avida Bar, Wellington